Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Martyn White

Posted on August 13 2017

Chatsworth House shares with us its impressive history and opulent interiors in a beautiful tour of fashion and design for people of all ages to appreciate and experience.

The United Kingdom is famed for its rich history and extravagant past. One of the many attractions to the country, and for many of its residents are the grand estates, palaces, castles and houses located across the land. Even from a young age, visitors are mesmerised by the lifestyle, size and heritage of these impressive properties, allowing us to step back in time and walk the same halls that generations of families have called home for hundreds of years. having recently visited Chatsworth House and Chatsworth Flower Show, I wanted to share with you the incredible experience of the tour and exhibits on display from one of the UK's most iconic Houses.

Chatsworth House Chapel with painted ceilingChatsworth House Chapel wedding dress exhibitionChatsworth House Chapel CeilingDamien Hirst Saint Bartholomew Exquisite Pain

Running between 25th March to 22nd October 2017 is the House Style exhibition, showcasing fashion and design, never before seen to the public from the Devonshire collection. Curated by Hamish Bowles, European editor-at-large for the American edition of Vogue and set against the dramatic backdrop of the house, the collection tells the story of some of the fascinating individuals to have walked the Chatsworth floors. Everything from beautiful wedding dresses to fancy dress glamour is on display from multiple centuries. For further details on the exhibition, find the direct links at the bottom of the post.

Chatsworth House Fashion ExhibitionChatsworth House gold Lion clockChatsworth House Great Dining RoomChatsworth House lounge

Home to the Cavendish family since 1549 and still lived in to this day, visitors are able to tour approximately thirty rooms in this one hundred and twenty six room house. Whilst in comparison that may sound like a small number, in context it is a vast amount of space, containing impressive rooms such as the painted hall, chapel and great dining room that can take hours to explore fully.

As noted above, one of the most impressive spaces and personal favourites is the painted hall. As the name suggests, this grand hall is known for the beauty and intricacy of its paintings that adorn the walls and ceiling to an epic proportion. The paintings are also the only part of the interior that dates back to the hall's creation. As with many heritage buildings of this type, maintenance and upkeep has and will always be the greatest challenge to protect the building and its impressive contents. It is reassuring to know that the interiors and the paintings themselves have been saved and restored to ensure that they can still be admired for many more generations to come.

Chatsworth House Library RoomVeiled Vestal Virgin at Chatsworth HouseHenry VIII Chatsworth HouseChatsworth House sculptures

The chapel is another impressive space that is sure to attract attention, not only because of its grand presence and striking alabaster altarpiece but the mix of contemporary content currently on display too. This space is currently hosting the wedding dress section of the House Style exhibition, providing a very dramatic backdrop to some of the most extravagant and pure fashion designs. The art contained within the Chapel also spans from its completion in 1693 to this current day with Damien Hirst's golden Saint Bartholomew 'Exquisite Pain' sculpture presented as a striking contemporary contrast to the surrounding space and works. This appreciation and incorporation of contemporary work can be seen throughout the house and the North Sketch gallery is an example of how Chatsworth continues to evolve. Formed in 2009, the North Sketch gallery was created with the removal of several small bedrooms to form a new corridor to give visitors a continuous route across the second floor. Six hundred and fifty nine hand made ceramic panels have been used to create five very abstract portraits that are based on mitochondrial DNA taken from the 12th Duke and Duchess, their son Lord Burlington and his wide Lady Burlington.  The fifth portrait represents general man, showing the similar DNA that makes us all. Chatsworth House GardensChatsworth House GreenhouseChatsworth ConservatoryChatsworth House Gardens

A visit to Chatsworth does not stop with the house. The impressive gardens are just as exciting to explore and at over one hundred acres there is plenty to be admired. Constantly evolving and changing with the times, the gardens have been maintained continually for almost five hundred years. The first garden was created in 1555 with formal area and ponds and has evolved with every generation to walk the grounds, seeing additions of mazes, fountains, conservatories and avenues. At any time of year, the grounds transport visitors into a calming world, manipulated by the seasons for an ever changing presence. For those that visit the house, it is strongly advised to experience the gardens, even for a small moment of time to take in the beautiful and refreshing surroundings.

Chatsworth house is a place that I could visit time and time again. A place that many would assume to be frozen in time could not be further from the truth. This is a land that continues to write a story, every day adding to its rich history.

For further details and visiting information for the house and gardens, click to view the official Chatsworth House website. Information on the current House Style exhibition that runs until 22nd October 2017 can be found HERE.


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