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Riber Castle aka Smedlely's folly, built as a residence for John Smedley, used as a food store during WW2, later became Riber Zoo and Fuana park.
Riber dominates the country side around Matlock. It is perched on a hill 260 metres (850 feet) above sea level, which is about 200 metres (600 feet) above Matlock. It looks forbidding. Indeed, it would not look out of place in a horror movie. It was designed and built by John Smedley in 1862 as his residence. The Gritstone for the building came from a local quarry and was carted up hill by a series of pulleys. Smedley employed skilled craftsmen. Plasterers, for example, came from Italy to work on the Castle. There was electricity and gas, plus a deep well for water. The Castle's salon was vast. The castle remained derelict for many years until, in the 1960s, a group of zoologists set up a Nature Reserve for British and European Fauna. This Nature Reserve is no longer open to the public as it closed in September 2000. (extracted from www.derbyshireguide.co.uk)