The design is attributed to Lewis Cottingham. It probably served as an ideal location for the earl’s passion for tea drinking and snuff taking in the pleasant environment of his developing evergreen gardens.
The building was decorated in the finest style and repeated the various Gothic and chivalrous mottoes and themes found in the castle.
Employing "the finest chinoiserie money could buy" it was a sumptuous location with its stained glass windows, coloured rope twist plasterwork and a statue depicting the 4th Earl and his great love Maria Foote.
The Moorish Temple also featured in the Ken Russell film ‘Women in Love’ of 1969. It was graced by Glenda Jackson in a scene on the balcony.
In 2011 the building was restored with the help of English Heritage, South Derbyshire District Council and Derbyshire County Council.