Thursday, 31 July 2014

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.

Stables ... GJC_003882
(Stables, Chatsworth House)
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, (Stables, Chatsworth House)
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 !  (Stables, Chatsworth House)
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
(Chatsworth House)
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
(The North Wing, Chatsworth House)

Chatsworth Profile ... GJC_003949
(The North Wing, Chatsworth House)
The North Wing was added to the main body of the house in the early nineteenth century.

Lake ... GJC_003910
(Lake, Chatsworth House)
The gardens and the estate were designed by Lancelot Brown (otherwise known as "Capability Brown") in the 1780's.

(Statue and Hedge, Chatsworth House)
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"


  1. The horse/unicorn sculpture is quite eye catching.

    1. I didn't get it at first Michelle but the bold variations on the red helped sway me gradually.

  2. I love your framing! I'm imagining walking in the middle of those tall trees. Love the sculptures esp the Pegasus!

    1. Rizalenio, thanks for your thoughts, appreciate it. Look forward to catching up with your post soon.

  3. A great look round.
    When were these taken? Must be two years ago?
    If you get a card reader it will vastly increase camera to computer upload speed.

    1. Adrian, Thanks as always, these were taken in late 2011. I've got a lot of material up my sleeve from 2012 and late 2011 thanks to my technical absence around that time.
      I've got a card reader and used it for my last big trip.... As I use different sites to publish images and use storage with that one, I decided to try a numbering referencing system back in early 2011 as the ID. Uploads previously to that were a mess and would repeat after 9999 ( been round the clock several times now). I don't fancy starting again or typing in separate 5 digit numbers for 700 images. Might have to delete a lot.
      Ram arrived this weekend so will see how that goes first.

  4. Chatsworth has long been on my ever-growing spreadsheet of places that need to be visited. You've presented a great insight, which reminds me to allow a full day! Some cracking photos - loved the sculptures! Enjoy Scotland - seems a fabulous atmosphere in Glasgow at the moment.

    1. Thanks Mike, I did the best I could do while staying close to the group on a large site.
      Chatsworth is definitely worth visiting. A lot of returning visitors just visit the grounds so there are a lot of people about. The sculpture exhibitions are a way to ensure repeat business. If I remember rightly both water features were turned on in the afternoon which is why I got the shot of the Pavilion without wet feet.
      I've got a lot of Scottish Material from this year, need to split it into two groups of posts.

  5. I always enjoy your great photos and humor. I especially love the arches of the restaurant, taken at an angle and the gorgeous gate. Seems odd the sculptor would have to show us the inside of a horse, since we all know what it looks like. But I did enjoy all the sculptures with the exception of Bugs Bunny. You have so many beautiful estates over there. Sigh. Thanks for sharing this one with us.

    1. Thanks Cranberry Morning, Chatsworth is probably the main attraction in Derbyshire and the yearly sculpture exhibition seems of interest to both the owners, repeat visitors and business. I suppose people are always pushing the boundaries in the world of art.
      I meant to say in the post that I had been here twice before in the distant past and expected to depict some classic scenes. However you can never tell what's going to happen in a day even down to the final outcome of a set of images. I suppose that's what interesting about taking a camera out somewhere for the day ... a very long one at that.

  6. Chatsworth House surely looks impressive and it must have been a pleasant trip despite that tarpaulin cover...
    These social groups you mention, anyone can join them for a trip or two? I'd like to know more about how they work (just out of curiosity). There is nothing like that here, only offers from travel agencies which is not the same I suppose.
    I like the hare and also the Pegasus made in half of flesh and in the other half of skin and feathers. Hirst's idea makes sense to me.
    As for the removed bin, the truth is that without it the capture looks much "cleaner". :) The car looks funny to me and I'm thinking about whether it is only because I'm not familiar with this model or its design makes it look funny generally.
    Great post!

    1. Thanks for your comments Petra, I've thought a lot about your social groups question ... without having to write a whole blog post :-) Essentially as a result of a friend, I found myself attending a walking group in a neighbouring county. I discovered as an extension of this friendship activity that there were other events from a sister group inclusive to those who didn't walk. Due to meeting others at these walking events from neighbouring regions, it turns out they have something similar.
      Cleaning bins away seems to be my new photographic thing :-)
      All the sculptures I photographed either made me think or enjoy. There were others I didn't understand that didn't quite make it to the post. I try to stick at 25 photos ... but it never works.

  7. I always enjoy a visit to Chatsworth. On one occasion I happened to be there when the 'Beyond Limits' exhibition was on. There were some fabulous artworks on display that year.

    1. The 'Beyond Limits' was certainly a surprise I wasn't expecting, it gave the day an extra edge.

  8. You'll be glad to know that the tarpaulins and scaffolding have been removed, revealing the spectacular gilded windows.

    1. It's nice to know every things back to normal again, not sure when I'll be back again. I pushed my travel boat a bit far for this trip so it might not be for a while.


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