Chatsworth House is situated near Bakewell in Derbyshire, within the Peak District National Park.
Chatsworth has belonged to the Cavendish family ever since Bess of Hardwick and her second husband, Sir William Cavendish, bought the estate in 1549. They built an imposing Elizabethan mansion on the site which was inherited by their second son, William, who was granted an Earldom by James I in 1618. There was already an Earl of Derby, so William was made 1st Earl of Devonshire instead.
|The Hunting Tower dating from the 1580s|
|The Courtyard, Chatsworth|
|The Painted Hall, Chatsworth|
|State Bedroom, Chatsworth|
|The Cascade, Chatsworth|
During the Georgian period, Chatsworth was owned by five different Dukes of Devonshire, all called William:
William Cavendish, 2nd Duke of Devonshire (1673-1729)
The 2nd Duke was a leading Whig politician and member of the Privy Council. He was the first serious art collector in the Cavendish family.
William Cavendish, 3rd Duke of Devonshire (1698-1755)
The 3rd Duke followed in his father’s footsteps as a prominent Whig politician and member of the Privy Council.
William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire (1720-1764)
|William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire|
(painting in the West Sketch Gallery)
The 4th Duke was a Whig politician and for seven months in 1756-7, he reluctantly held the office of Prime Minister.
|The Stables, Chatsworth|
William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire (1748-1811)
|William Cavendish, 5th Duke of Devonshire|
(painting on the Oak Stairs)
|Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire|
(painting in the South Sketch Gallery)
Georgiana spent several years in retirement at Chatsworth during the 1790s developing her mineral collection after suffering a severe eye problem that left her face quite disfigured.
You can read more about Georgiana’s story here.
|Smoky quartz crystal from the Simplon Pass|
on display in the South Sketch Gallery, Chatsworth
|Lady Elizabeth Foster|
(painting in South Sketch Gallery)
The 5th Duke first laid the black and white marble floor in the Painted Hall in 1779.
William Spencer Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire (1790-1858)
|Bust of William Spencer Cavendish,|
6th Duke of Devonshire
in Sculpture Gallery, Chatsworth
|Scultpure Gallery, Chatsworth|
|The Emperor Fountain, Chatsworth|
What can you see today?
Highlights to look for inside the house:
(More pictures on my photo tour of Chatsworth - there are just too many to include here!)
• The Painted Hall with its beautiful chequered marble floor.
|Painted Hall, Chatsworth|
|The Library, Chatsworth|
|Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire|
by Thomas Gainsborough
|Bust of Napoleon by Antonio Canova|
• The Cascade
|The Cascade, Chatsworth|
• Views of Chatsworth House
|Chatsworth from the bridge|
|Chatsworth with current sculpture exhibition in foreground|
Chatsworth House Trust, Chatsworth, Home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, guidebook (2005)
Chatsworth House Trust, Your guide to Chatsworth (2014)
Past Prime Ministers website
All photographs © Andrew Knowles - www.flickr.com/photos/dragontomato