Thursday, 31 July 2014

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.

Chatsworth House is the home of the Duke of Devonshire and is arguably the Jewel in the Crown of the attractions of Derbyshire. This is a county that I haven't visited in this blog before and the second of three occasional posts that I have pulled out of my Photo archives.

I had three friends that I knew in a social group in South Yorkshire and had been observing their programme of events for some time and eventually opted for this day trip in the car. It so happened that one of my friends, who I shall call the Doncaster Dame, was the organiser of the event and tried to dissuade me on the telephone about distance travel issues. I have known The Doncaster Dame for 12 years and didn't catch up with her often enough in more recent times. However I chose to ignore her advice as I informed her that this opportunity doesn't come up often and historically she was professional in organising events.

(Sorry folks, I struggled to get this post out for many reasons ... something for July at least. I'm still dealing with the computer issues and the shop have now recommended to buy extra Ram to be able to upload images from the camera. I'm in Scotland at the moment and have been tied up with other things recently, so I'll sort that out next week and catch up with all your blogs. The place where I'm staying may turn the wifi off at some point, haha, so I'm on borrowed time here :-)
This set is so old and dated in time due to the art exhibits depicted here that I had to struggle with inspiration. Some of the original batch didn't make it and I over edited another 5 or 6.
Lastly the bicycle I bought has been a little distracting during some warm June & July evenings.)

The motorway journey to Chesterfield was long but acceptable and my traffic knowledge of delays on the outskirts of the town was minimal. Although I didn't regret my decision to travel, her words of wisdom proved to be right as the last 20 mins was more like 50. On arrival at The Chatsworth Estate I was disappointed to discover that the house was partially covered in tarpaulin for maintenance purposes. The landscape view from near Edensor village and the classic bridge in the foreground scene would have to wait for another occasion and to date still hasn't happened.

Horse ... GJC_003886
War Horse by Dame Elisabeth Frink
We met up in The Stables (title image), which in itself is a tourist magnet for those not wishing to pay the additional fee to visit the main house.

Restaurant ... GJC_003888
Restaurant !
The area has related specialist shopping, cafe and a restaurant of such a standard that it is suitable for wedding receptions.

Chatsworth & Grounds ... GJC_003946

Despite a residence being on the site since 1549, Chatsworth House and Estate has been a work in progress over the years since it was rebuilt in the 20 years up to 1707. There are however buildings on the estate that pre-date the main house such as The Hunting Tower and Queen Mary's Bower.

Chatsworth Wing ... GJC_003960_edited

Chatsworth Profile ... GJC_003949

The North Wing was added to the main body of the house in the early nineteenth century.

Lake ... GJC_003910

The gardens and the estate were designed by Lancelot Brown (otherwise known as "Capability Brown") in the 1780's.


He had an amazing C.V. and seemed much sought after due to his other garden projects at Blenheim Palace, Bowood House, Harewood House, Broadlands, Highclere Castle and Longleat.

Emorer Fountain ... GJC_003932

The fame of Chatsworth House took on an International flavour when in 1843 Nicholas I (Tsar of Russia) promised to visit sometime. The 6th Duke of Devonshire who was residing in the house at the time employed his gardener Sir Joseph Paxton to construct the tallest fountain in the world for his arrival. This incorporated an 8 acre lake on the moors high above the level of the house to acquire the desired water pressure. It was unfortunate that despite the project being completed in six months, the Tsar never managed to see the fountain before he died in 1855.

Interestingly the Hydro electric power technology was used to to supply the house in the early 20th century before the connection to mains electricity in 1936. Ideas change and it was decided to upgrade the equipment with a new turbine in 1988 to supply 1/3 of the electricity needs.

Cascade Fountain ... GJC_003947

One of the main features of the garden that everyone comes to see is the Cascade Fountain. It was designed and built from 1690, extended to include a Pavilion at the top waterfall, then re-aligned by Paxton to compliment the garden plan in relation to the House.

Pavillion ... GJC_003902
Thomas Archer Pavillion 1703

Conservatory ... GJC_003956

Paxton seemed to specialise in Greenhouses, some successful and some he would choose to forget, however the Conservative wall Greenhouse stretching 331 ft (101m) stands the test of time.

Avenue ... GJC_003934
Time for a wander around the estate !

Dual View ... GJC_003916

The features in the estate are at times a little unusual, some unusual features with dual viewpoints ...

Downstairs ... GJC_003918
Upstairs ... GJC_003913
A rare capture of two social group leaders ... the Doncaster Dame and the Leeds link ( taking a break to see the success of other events outside her region).

Chloe's World ... GJC_003935
The distorted ... Chloe's World by Jaume Plensa
After the disappointment of the Tarpaulin covering the historic part of the house there was the surprise of The Beyond Limits sculpture exhibition that were dotted around the estate.

Head ... GJC_003921
Lord William Burlington by Angela Conner
Royalty ...GJC_003922
Two other people making up Angela's collection !!

Dual Pegasus ... GJC_003928

The main exhibits were a Unicorn (called Myth) and this Horse (called Legend) sculptured by Damien Hirst.

Red Pegasus ... GJC_003927

The partly surgically exposed sculpture was a development of Hirst's interest between science and religion. Hirst said "I like the way that even by showing these creature's insides they still feel majestic and hopeful, so they seem more real and not just creatures from fantasy"

Pegusus ... GJC_003930


The Owners like the works of Barry Flannigan who seems to specialise in Hares. This one is known as left handed drummer. Personally I felt it stood out more as a silhouette, hence my take on it.

Bin ! ... GJC_003940
Time for an Ice Cream break
Binless ! ... GJC_003940(1)
OK, it.s becoming an obsession with me .. but time to remove the bin !!

Chatsworth Window ... GJC_003962

That leaves me with three shots, the first is an occasional one that struck me at the time

Chatsworth Gate ... GJC_003964

... and the remaining two are of entrances, the first is probably a little underused whilst the second is a little overused  !! ...

The Ladies !  ...GJC_003955
"The Ladies"

Monday, 23 June 2014

A Bus ride and Waterfall walk, Hawes, Wensleydale

Hardraw  GJC_002501

Now that I have finished my trio of Welsh posts, I'd like to follow that up with a group of three individual posts. As with the last series, the reasons will become obvious by the third post.

I have been loosely associated with a West Yorkshire social and walking group for some time, My friend, known to you as the Scarborough Sandcastle manager has a similar friendship to the people in the group. The Leeds link asked him to organise a Yorkshire Dales day event and this is the ... err ... timing challenges that he came up with. Apologies for the ordinary bunch of images but due to the snapshots, constant catch up and exhaustion of the day ... I'm putting a bit more effort here into the autobiographical writing style on this occasion, hope the variety holds it.

At the start of the day, I had my unfounded doubts on some unknown variables such as how many people would turn out for an early start so far from their usual stamping ground and was the day too ambitious ?


We descended with our cars in Leyburn and caught up with old friends before the vintage bus arrived from Ripon in mid morning. Thankfully there were enough seats for everyone.

It was a pleasant journey along some less well known roads through Wensleydale  from Leyburn in the East to Hawes in the west.

For those interested in the route here's a link for the current ...  Vintage Dales bus timetable

Not the most vintage bus in the fleet but reliable nonetheless !
Essentially the bus covered the tourist hot spots along the way such as Castle Bolton, Aysgarth Falls and a connection point with the Wensleydale Railway car park at Redmire (above). A suitable photo opportunity and a quick stretch of the legs while we waited for the arrival of the train from Leeming Bar.

Station car park  GJC_002552

On arrival at the Hawes Railway station car park, it was somewhat surprising to be greeted with the above scene considering that the railway currently terminates at Redmire.

Transport of the past going to places in the future !
On closer inspection, it turned out that this was a static exhibit realising the dream for the public of the hopefully not too distant future... I was left wondering whether in turn that would retire the vintage bus service for good.

Ropemaker shop GJC_002542
The narrowest but longest shop award ... in my opinion
Readers may remember that I've been here before in an autumn deluge of rain ... (Hawes 2010)  and covered a few shots and history of the town including the rope makers. The weather was that bad on that day that I chose not to photograph the front door of the unusual Ropemaker's shop. Hope this redresses the balance.

Butcher / Baker  GJC_002540

Enough of transport and history, it was time to stock up on some packed lunch as there was no time to shop in Leyburn. We were inspired to pick up some local delicacies in this Butcher / Baker's shop.

Can I have some please ?!  GJC_002496
Can I have some please ?!
Unfortunately though not everyone was welcome in the shop despite the longing eyes wondering what the contents of the paper bags were.

Cross the fields  GJC_002498

My friend and organiser for the day is known for his walks and to be fair the next leg of the journey was only a flat 4 miles (6.4km) round trip on flat terrain to a waterfall. The group of 9 people that turned out from the Yorkshire social group (plus myself, the organiser and another friend) had experience in walking and those that were just interested in tourism seemed to stay away.

Landscape  GJC_002528

Despite the short distance, there was always the thought in the back of my head about what time the bus departed at and whether or not this short distance was achievable or not. The scenery was quite pleasant anyway crossing over the fields.

Green Dragon  GJC_002522

It wasn't long though before we arrived at the toll point of The Green Dragon Inn.

Green Dragon Inn  GJC_002499
13th century Inn

Entrance fee  GJC_002500

The land to the rear of the pub which includes Hardraw Force is maintained by the owners of The Green Dragon Inn. A quick look at the website reveals that the fee has increased with inflation to the princely 2014 sum of £2.50.

Waterfall  GJC_002507

Hardraw Force at the end of a short wooded ravine walk is reputed to be England's highest single drop waterfall. Visiting here on a school geography trip when I was about 14 years old, I remember walking behind the waterfall on a ledge. Sadly today with erosion, water spray, slippy rocks, Health and Safety, that is no longer possible or even inviting for that matter.

Yorkshire Curd Tart  GJC_002515

Time for lunch followed by a communal dessert sample of Yorkshire Curd Tart that one kind person bought in the shop earlier.

Fireplace GJC_002519

... and enough time to sample the delights of The Green Dragon before the walk back to Hawes.

Low down Antiques GJC_002539

We made good time and had about 30 minutes spare to have a quick look around before the bus departed. It was an opportunity to catch anything I missed or couldn't take because of the weather on the previous occasion. Come to think of it, I've never ever been here on my own before to look ... and wait ... for the best shots, it's always been a rush !

Shepherd  GJC_002533

As I didn't have the time to lose myself in what I was doing I opted to retake the shepherd sculpture in the middle of the street.

Door GJC_002534
Accommodation all full !
 It is apt to mention at this point that the Tour de France cycle race has an opening leg in a foreign country and this year part of that is in Yorkshire. Le Tour passes through Hawes on July 5th 2014 en route to Swaledale at the northern end of the clockwise Dales circuit.

The bus journey back to Leyburn between 3 and 4pm seemed less memorable than the outward one partly because we were covering the same ground in reverse, but more importantly with the talking all done and the constant drone of the engine, most of us to nodded off for a snooze at various intervals.
However everyone had a rude awakening on the rickety approach turning off the main road and award winning reversing manoeuvre into Redmire Railway station car park.

Black Swan Inn  GJC_002568

One thing that kept me going was the thought of a pub meal at 6pm in Leyburn square. However little did I know what was in store for me next. Some of the girls fancied the freedom of a 1 hour shopping spree ... not something that readily comes to mind in Leyburn considering the flagship shop is an Ironmonger !!
The town wasn't conducive to photography as there were too many cars parked everywhere so I went with the alternative plan from my friend who doesn't give up easily on walking.

The Shawl   GJC_002563
Pen Hill through the trees
The Leyburn Shawl walk is one of the most subtlest inclines and is essentially an extension of a walk to the park where the visitor is constantly enticed to go a little further for a slightly better tree free view. I knew I had to do this option as I was the reins on this walk that looked like galloping away and missing the 6pm gastro appointment. I distinctly remember saying "We need to go back, it's 5 o'clock now" and "It's ten past five now" !! The downhill section in 50 minutes seemed more acceptable !!

We were met by the shoppers 3/4 of the way back in the park who didn't know what else to do, so thought they'd wait for us with the immediate view of Wensleydale to enjoy.

Post it  GJC_002538 - Version 2

All in all it was a great day out, but we hardly had any slack in the timings to send a postcard ...

... and we could have done with the services afterwards of one of the Leyburn businesses...


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