Bolsover Castle was built in the 17th century but occupies a medieval site, at the western edge of the limestone plateau in the south-west corner of Bolsover parish. The first castle was built probably shortly after the Norman Conquest by the first William Peverel. It passed, with the rest of the honor of Peverel, to the Crown in 1155 and remained of some military significance until the start of the 14th century, but had become ruinous long before it was granted to the future 6th earl of Shrewsbury in 1553 as part of the manor of Bolsover.
In 1608 the manor of Bolsover was sold by the 7th earl of Shrewsbury to his kinsman Charles Cavendish of Welbeck. Over the next 6 decades Charles and his son, William, replaced the remains of the castle with a new mansion, which remained an occasional residence of the family until the early 18th century. Although some of the mansion fell into ruin, parts of it were occupied well into the 19th century, when it was open to the public. In 1945 the duke of Portland gave the castle to the predecessor of the present owners, English Heritage.
Some of the assets associated with this item bring together documentary references to the castle in the Middle Ages. Because the 17th-century rebuilding it is impossible to relate these to surviving structures.