A Day in The Peak

Bakewell Church, Haddon Hall, and Chatsworth

By Andreas Edward Cokayne

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2013


Chatsworth Page Header

AND now let us pass over the hill to Chatsworth, But what is it possible to say of Chatsworth, unless one were to fill an entire book? Save in the most general terms, it were almost as easy to describe the British Museum! ......... In a region of mountains and woods and streams, remote from city turmoil and din, yet accessible by railway from all parts of the busy kingdom; and, under certain reservations and restrictions by no means illiberal, open to all ranks of the people; they would almost make a democrat thankful for that law of primogeniture which has prevented their being aforetime disposed of piecemeal, and has preserved them to this late day, in which the oldest of our aristocracy, as well as the monarch and her family, are alike emulative in teaching the luxury of letting the public enjoy all that time has sanctified and education improved in their keeping........ Standing in much the same relation to the Derwent as Haddon to the Wye, and backed by woody heights which are crowned by an old hunting tower that may be seen for many a mile, it occupies a position, on the whole well calculated for effect... Let it suffice, then, that - built as it

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is of beautiful buff stone, and breasting the noon-day with a magnitude and grandeur almost regal - its gardens and great conservatories filled with the choicest plants of the sunniest clime - its fountains rushing far up into the sky - its terraces, lawns, and slopes, and far-extending woods - its herds of deer, spreading wide away from its noble sweep of river and winding drives - and many another sign and symbol of the ducal reign; these are features that remain on the mind, and find few parallels in our wanderings elsewhere... As to the rooms inside I can only speak as might every other casual visitor. I could linger for years among their pictures, carvings, and sculptures, and in the superb library. But having had of necessity to hurry, as an ordinary sightseer, through each apartment, I never left the picture-galleries without the heart-ache. Where party succeeds party, as wave urges wave, the time for seeing a whole gallery might often be enjoyed upon a single picture. To my mind, the objects in Chatsworth House are at this moment like those of a diorama, one succeeding another too rapidly to be realised, even in this fast age of mental photography ...... To have passed from court to hall, and from hall to corridor, and on, on, on, from gallery to gallery, and then to have burst upon the gorgeous sight that greets one on entering the great state-rooms - (where the carvings and costly furniture within, and the fountains and one of the finest landscapes of the Peak - a far stretching vista, rich as the vale of Tempe, without - kindle tip the soul and thrill all its faculties) - were at any time “a feast for the tourist on which he might retire to dream for many an after year”![1]

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In Chatsworth old park, situated to the south of the pleasure grounds, is a large number of the finest old and decayed oak trees in the kingdom, most of them yet showing signs of vitality, but stunted by age, yet enormous in girth, and probably nine or ten centuries old.

The Manor of Chatsworth, anciently written Chetes-uorde, at the time of the Domesday survey, was held under the crown by William Peveril. Chetel, a Saxon owner mentioned in Domesdav, no doubt gave the name to this place - Chetel's-worthe or the Court of Chetel; Chatsworth being a corruption of the old name. Subsequently it became the property of the Leche family, one of whom was a medical attendant to King Edward III. In this family it remained for several generations. Francis Leche sold it to the family of Agard, of whom it was afterwards purchased by Sir William Cavendish, the second husband of Elizabeth, daughter of John Hardwick, of Hardwick, - the celebrated “Bess of Hardwick”, whose fourth husband was George, sixth Earl of Shrewsbury, who married first, Gertrude, daughter of Thomas Earl of Rutland; and in the illustrious family of Cavendish the estate of Chatsworth has ever since continued.

This remarkable woman, whose name is so intimately connected with Chatsworth, may be considered its founder - though the mansion she built has quite disappeared, and given place to the stately edifice we see in its completeness to-day. The following slight sketch of her life, therefore, may not be uninteresting. Elizabeth was the third daughter and co-heiress of John Hardwick, Esq., whose family had been established at Hardwick, Derbyshire, for six generations; which estate she brought to her

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Chatsworth Old Hall
Chatsworth Old Hall

second husband, Sir William Cavendish; and it has ever since continued in the possession of her lineal descendants. Fuller says “that she was a woman of undaunted spirit, and happy in her several marriages to great persons. This beautiful and discreet woman was married at the age of fourteen to Robert Barley, of Barley, (Barlow), county of Derby, Esq., who was also very young, and died soon after, February 2nd, 1532; but his large estate was settled on her and her heirs”. She lived a widow a considerable time, and then took for her second husband Sir William Cavendish, over whom she exercised so much influence as to induce him to sell his estates in the south of England to purchase lands in Derbyshire, the home of her ancestors.

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In conjunction with her husband, she built the Hall of which we give a drawing, interesting particularly as the residence of Mary Queen of Scots, when in the custody of the Earl of Shrewsbury, her last husband, and the foundation of the present stately mansion. Sir William Cavendish did not, however, live to see this house finished; he died in the year 1556. By this marriage she had a family of three sons and three daughters, of whom the second son, William, became heir to the whole estate and was afterwards created first Earl of Devonshire.

This view of the Old Hall was engraved by the late Mr. Jewitt, F.S.A., from a painting to be seen in one of the corridors.

Lady Cavendish remained a widow for some years, and then married her third husband, Sir William St. Loe, (a gentleman who was much her senior in years) captain-of-the-guard to Queen Elizabeth, and the possessor of considerable property in the county of Gloucester, which in her articles of marriage was settled on her and her own heirs, in default of issue by him; and having no child by him, she lived to enjoy his whole estate. After the death of Sir William St. Loe she married George, sixth Earl of Shrewsbury, probably the most powerful peer of his time. In 1590 she was again a widow. It was a remarkable career: to have been married four times, to rise by each husband to greater wealth and higher honours, to have issue by one husband only, to see all her children, by her influence, honourably settled in her lifetime, and after all to live seventeen years a widow, in absolute power and wealth. Chatsworth and Hardwick were two of the finest houses ever built by one person in one county, and were the result of her ambition for building.

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“There is a tradition at Hardwick, that this singular woman, being provoked by a splendid mansion which the Suttons had recently erected within view of her windows, declared she would build a finer dwelling for the owlets, whence Owlcots, or Oldcotes. She kept her word, more truly perhaps than she intended, for Oldcotes has since become literally a dwelling for the owls; the chief part of it is ruins, and the rest is converted into a farm-house. Oldcotes, with the estate formerly connected with it, which extends through the parish of Callow, and forms a narrow strip of land, has descended, through the Kingston family, to Earl Manvers”.[2]

Historians speak of her as a woman of masculine understanding and conduct, proud, selfish, unfeeling, and occasionally even furious; but withal she must have been business-like, of undaunted spirit, discreet, prudent, and industrious. On the subject of “English mediaeval embroidery”, in the Archeological Institute Journal, (vol. IV, page 291), she is thus referred to in connection with some of her work remaining at Hardwick: “Yet the owner of so fair a fabric suffered none of her energies to be distracted by the care necessary to see it appropriately garnished when built. She erected both houses and hospitals, sumptuously lilting up the one, and well endowing the other. The noble dwelling at Chatsworth, and the embattled walls of Bolsover, declare the princely outlay made from her fortune, and in a land of stone

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like Derbyshire, her palaces and manors arose as rapidly as the creations of some unseen magician in oriental fable. Her zeal for architecture was so deeply rooted in her very nature that it was only extinguishable with her existence. Hence it had been foretold by no very prophetic seer, in the language of metonymy, that she would live as long as she continued to build, and so it happened, for a wintry interruption to the works in progress, that fatal suspension of her labours left Chatsworth[3] unfinished, and at the age of eighty-seven carried her to the grave. [She died February 19th, 1607]. Her dust lies under a magnificent monument of marble in the church of All Hallows at Derby, which, either from personal vanity or a natural desire to see suitably executed, she caused to be erected during her lifetime. The Archbishop of York preached her funeral sermon, and pronounced a lofty eulogium upon her virtues. That she was discreet and prudent in the management of her temporal affairs, is shown by the height of grandeur to which her vast estates raised the houses of Cavendish and Newcastle, and by the four ducal, even the royal alliance of her grand-daughters. Yet with all the care exercised in exalting her family to this extraordinary pitch of greatness, with a laudable ambition to decorate her native county with the most magnificent residences England can boast of, with an affectionate discharge of maternal duties to fourteen children, and a due performance of the conjugal obedience claimed successively by four husbands, she, like all the gentlewomen

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of that generation, found leisure to embroider her own chairs, and work her own counterpanes”.

During the civil wars between the Parliament and Charles I., Chatsworth was occasionally occupied as a fortress by both parties. In 1643 it was garrisoned for the Parliament, by forces commanded by Sir John Gell; and in December of the same year, the Earl of Newcastle, after taking Winfield Manor, attacked and made himself master of Chatsworth House, and placed a garrison in it for the King, under the command of Colonel Eyre. In 1645 it was held for the royal party by Colonel Shalcross, with a garrison from Welbeck, and a skirmishing party of three hundred horse. At this time it was besieged by four hundred Parliamentarians under Major Mollanus, but the siege was raised, after fourteen days, by Colonel Gell.

The oldest part of the present house is a square pile of buildings enclosing a quadrangular court, the principal entrance being on the west side, approached by a flight of steps to a terrace extending the entire length of the building. The style of architecture is Grecian; the west front is relieved by four fluted columns rising to the full height of the building, resting upon a plain solid base, and supporting an ornamental frieze and pointed pediment, in the tympanum of which is a stone shield charged with the armorial bearings of the Cavendish family - sa. three bucks' heads caboshed arg., surmounted by the crest, a snake vowed ppr., and having, beneath, the family motto, “Cavendo tutus”, the supporters being two bucks ppr. attired or. each gorged with a garland of roses, arg. and az. The light balustrades all along the top are

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Arms, Crest, &c. of the Duke of Devonshire (From Foster's Pe
Arms, Crest, &c. of the Duke of Devonshire (From Foster's Peerage)

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surmounted by vases and figures. The south and east sides, though not so elaborate in their details, present the same characteristics as the west front, more particularly the south front, which has a garden entrance. The modern part of the building, the north wing, erected during the life-time of the sixth Duke, differs slightly from the older portion, combining different styles of classic ornamentation, but does not interfere with the harmony of the whole building, which is, indeed, relieved by its varied and broken outlines. At the northernmost extremity of this wing is a pavilion or open tower, with Corinthian ornamentation, having a balustrade, adorned at the angle with vases, from the summit of which fine views of the bold and romantic scenery in and around the park are no doubt afforded. This tower reminds one of Italian structures.

The erection of the older portion of the modern mansion of Chatsworth was commenced about the year 1687, by the fourth Earl (afterwards first Duke) of Devonshire, on his retirement from the Court of James II.

His Grace took an active part in the Revolution of the following year, which banished James II., and placed William, Prince of Orange, on the throne. “The Whittington Revolution House” near Chesterfield is in existence yet, where the plotting was carried on. History records that the Duke (then Earl) of Devonshire, the future Duke of Leeds, and the son and heir of the Earl of Holderness, with a few others desiring to advance Protestantism, met on Whittington Moor. “It is said”, observe Lysons, “that in consequence of showers of rain, they adjourned to a public house on the moor, called the Cock and Pynot

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(magpie) which acquired from this circumstance the name of the Revolution-House; and the small room where these distinguished guests retired, that of the Plotting Parlour”. William, fifth Duke of Devonshire, was born in 1748, and died in 1811. It is recorded of him that he was an accomplished scholar, but he never entered prominently into public life.

The “beautiful Duchess of Devonshire” whose celebrated picture disappeared so mysteriously a few years ago, was Lady Georgiana Spencer, daughter of John, Earl Spencer, and wife of William Cavendish, fifth Duke. One portrait of her, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, is to be seen in one of the rooms.

The rebuilding of the south front was commenced in April, 1687, under the direction of William Talman, a Wiltshire man, afterwards architect to William III. The great hall and staircase were completed in April, 1690. In May, 1692, the works were surveyed by Sir Christopher Wren. In that year Talman received £600 in advance towards building the east front and the north-east corner, which were finished in 1700, and in that year the whole west front was taken down. The old south gallery was pulled down in 1703, and immediately rebuilt. In 1704 the north front was taken down; the west front was finished in 1706, the north wing being added later, when the whole was completed as at present.

Celebrated artists were employed to decorate the interior and exterior of this sumptuous house. The paintings were chiefly executed by Verrio, La Guerre, Ricard, Highmore, Huyd, and Sir James Thornhill: the carving in stone principally by Caius Gabriel Cibber, Samuel Watson of

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Heanor, Harris, Nost, Nadould, Davis, Landscroon, and Auriol; that in wood by Gibbons, Watson, Young, Lobb, and Davis.

The addition of the north wing, which is three hundred and eighty five feet long, (forming a continuation of the east and west fronts, the length of the whole from north to south being five hundred and fifty seven feet), was made by the sixth Duke of Devonshire, who died at Hardwick, in January 1858. Sir Jeffrey Wyatville was employed on this work.

William Spencer Cavendish, sixth Duke of Devonshire, succeeded in 1811. His friendship with the Emperor Nicholas of Russia dates from that Emperor's coronation, on which occasion His Grace represented Her Majesty, with costly splendour. He was decorated with Russian

Crest of Cavendish
Crest of Cavendish

Orders, and in 1844 the Emperor was entertained at Chatsworth. The malachite clock presented to the Duke by the Emperor is in the State Dining-room, and his Majesty's portrait, with that of his Empress, is on the grand staircase.

Glover in his History of Derbyshire, says: “The celebrated Marshal Tallard, who was taken prisoner on the plains of Hochstedt, near Blenheim, by the Duke of Marlborough, in 1704, remained a prisoner in this country during a period of seven years. He was invited by the Duke of Devonshire to Chatsworth, and nobly

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entertained by him for several days. On departing, he paid His Grace this pleasing compliment: ‘My Lord Duke, when I compute the days of my captivity in England, I shall leave out those I passed at Chatsworth’”.

“In September, 1768, the King of Denmark visited Chatsworth, and was entertained there with great splendour, during his tour through the north of England”.

“In 1816, the Emperor of Russia, then the Archduke Nicholas, was, during the month of December, magnificently entertained by the Duke of Devonshire; and this reception was most cordially remembered when His Grace was appointed ambassador to St. Petersburgh, to congratulate his Imperial Majesty on his accession to the throne. In 1818, the Grand Duke Michael of Russia, then on a tour through England, was also received with splendid hospitality at Chatsworth”.

It was about the year 1830 when Joseph (afterwards Sir Joseph) Paxton began to develop that genius for glass building which culminated in the Exhibition of 1851 and perpetuated his name and fame, and has since been so extensively utilized in the erection of other public palaces of glass, railway stations, etc. In the reign of the sixth Duke, Paxton re-modelled the grounds and gardens around Chatsworth.

To the successive Dukes of Devonshire tens of thousands of persons, the wide world through, are indebted for their generous kindness in admitting visitors to see their princely house, the richness and treasures of which are far beyond adequate description.

The elegant bridge in the park which spans the river separating Chatsworth from Edensor, and running right

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through and dividing the park, was built by Payne, from designs said to be by Michael Angelo, and ornamented with fine marble figures by Cibber.

Near the bridge stands a picturesque elevation - a sort of square terrace, fenced with high walls, approached by a flight of stone steps, and surrounded by a moat - called the “Bower of Mary, Queen of Scots”. A garden formerly occupied its summit, in which it is said that unhappy Queen passed many hours of her long imprisonment.

Over the entrance gateway into this Bower is a shield, quarterly 1st and 4th three fleurs-de-lys, 2nd and 3rd a fish embowed, with the Lion of Scotland occupying the lower half of the dexter; impaling quarterly of four, 1st and 4th the Lion of Scotland, 2nd and 3rd the quartered arms of France and England, namely 1st and 4th three fleurs-de-lys, 2nd and 3rd three Lions of England: over all an escutcheon of pretence, one half of which only remains, bearing the arms of France and England.

This so-called Bower is almost the only remaining memorial of this singularly unfortunate Queen in this part of the country. Tradition asserts that here she passed much of her time when permitted to leave her apartments. It is pretty evident, however, that she was kept a good deal in seclusion, the monotony of which she relieved by employing herself in needlework. Mary became Queen of Scotland when only eight days old, but her reign was one continued series of disasters; and when at length, flying from the dissensions of her distracted country, she sought the protection of her cousin, Elizabeth, she endured long years of imprisonment and misery, and finally the block, to the perpetual disgrace of Elizabeth.

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The time of her captivity in England was eighteen years, eight months, and twenty-two days, some portions of which period, during the years 1570, 1573, 1577, 1578, and 1581, were spent at Chatsworth.

Agnes Strickland, in her “Life of Mary, Queen of Scots”, thus writes about this spot: “Among the few memorials of Mary Stuart's compulsory abode at Chatsworth, is the square elevated enclosure, scarce half a furlong from the house, called Queen Mary's Bower, where, according to local tradition, she was accustomed to resort for air when debarred from walking or riding in the park and chase. Nothing can be more lugubrious than the spot, which is moated and surrounded with a stone wall breast-high, opened in places with balustrades. It is approached by a flight of stone steps, forming a bridge over the deep dark waters that encircle the mound in slow and dismal course, emblematic of the melancholy stagnation of heart and spirit in which the bright, the beautiful, the energetic young Sovereign was doomed to waste the eighteen years of her life spent in England. Two dingy yew-trees, old but of stunted growth, face the entrance, and a sycamore, with three stems, of later date, partly overshadows it. Mary is said to have amused herself by planting and cultivating a flower-garden within this enclosure - a tradition in accordance with her well-known taste for horticulture; but all traces of her Eve-like occupation have departed, for the enclosure is thickly carpeted with turf, and the only flower to be seen within its desolate bounds, when I made my historical pilgrimage to Chatsworth in August, 1847, was a lonely harebell.

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The Chatsworth of Bess of Hardwick, and its appointments, resembled not those of her munificent descendants the Dukes of Devonshire. The natural features of the landscape, the bold Derby hills that embosom the happy valley, are the same; but Mary Stuart's tearful eyes looked upon them in their wild and barren grandeur, not as they appear now”.

Hardwick Hall contains much of the handiwork, as well as many articles of furniture, pictures, etc. associated with the Queen of Scotland, having been removed thither from Chatsworth at the time of its rebuilding. The Queen herself was never at Hardwick.

The richly gilt and ornamented gates in the three arch-ways of the Doric gateway, form an appropriate entrance to the “Palace of the Peak”. Passing through, the visitor has on his left hand a massive stone screen-wall, skirting the kitchens and covering the domestic offices. In front of the entrance to the house is the exceptionally large and graceful weeping-ash, which was planted there in 1830, after removal from Derby. Mr. Adams (of Derby), in the book already alluded to, describes this removal: “This tree was purchased by His Grace from Messrs. Wilson, and was removed from the gardens in the Kedleston Road, Derby, (where it had been an ornament upwards of forty years), under the superintendence of the proprietors and Mr. Paxton, upon a machine constructed by Messrs. Strutt, of Belper. This was a carriage improved from Stewart's principal, and lent for the purpose to His Grace; and though the tree, with the earth attached, weighed nearly eight tons, it arrived at its destination in eighteen hours, the distance being twenty-eight

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miles; and, contrary to expectation, it was able to pass through the different tollbars, with one exception, without displacing them. The greatest difficulty occurred at the Milford tollbar; but this by the skill and exertion of Mr. Anthony Strutt, was considerably lessened. The gates and wall at the entrance to Chatsworth Park were, however, obliged to be taken down, and the branches of some trees in the park lopped off. His Grace met the tree at the entrance to the Park; and was much gratified by its safe arrival. The under-taking was commenced on Wednesday, the 8th of April, and completed on the Saturday following”.

The Entrance hall (or Sub-hall), the first room entered by the visitor, contains classic busts, (Homer, Socrates, and others), statues, a painted ceiling by Miss Curzon representing “Aurora”, after Guido, large vases occupying the openings of the north corridor, which is approached by a wide stone staircase.

Passing into the corridor, with its mosaic pavement of various marbles, the visitor is conducted into the Great-Hall, which, laid with grey and white marble in diamond squares, and its admirable proportions and decorations, forms a suitable vestibule for the splendid apartments which follow. The fine paintings by Verrio and La Guerre are taken from the history of Julius Caesar. In one compartment is represented his crossing the Rubicon; in another his voyage across the Adriatic to his army at Brundusium; the left side contains his sacrifice previous to going to the Senate, at the closing of the temple of Janus; over the north entrance is his death; and on the ceiling his deification. This hall, with its splendid staircase, is

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extremely beautiful, enriched, as it is, with polished marbles from Derbyshire quarries, and otherwise richly adorned. The centre of the hall is occupied by an immense slab of Derbyshire fossil-marble, mounted on a boldly carved and gilt stand. Here, too, is the large canoe, presented to the sixth Duke by the Sultan of Turkey. Over the fire-place is, in Latin, the following inscription


The year of sorrow refers to the death of the Countess of Burlington, wife of the seventh Duke of Devonshire, then Earl of Burlington. She was the Lady Blanche Georgiana Howard, daughter of the sixth Earl of Carlisle. The “year of English Freedom” refers to the Revolution of 1688.

The Duke's private apartments are in the basement, in the west front, which is 172 feet long.[4]

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Leaving the Great Hall by a passage at the south end, under the staircase, and passing along the Chapel corridor, where amongst the valuables is a picture believed to be by Hogarth - a Club-house in Rome, a curious clock case, a Greek sculpture in the form of a portion of a Herculean foot, we reach the Chapel, (in the south-west angle of the house), wainscoted with cedar. The pencils of Verrio and La Guerre have embellished this apartment with appropriate subjects. Here are illustrated scenes from the life of Our Saviour; all along the right hand side of the wall He is represented as performing miracles; in a panel at the end is the Reproof of the incredulity of S. Thomas,

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by Verrio; in another is Bartimaeus restored to sight; over the door Christ talking with the woman of Samaria; and on the ceiling the Ascension. The spaces between the windows contain figures of Justice and Mercy, Charity and Liberality, painted in relief. The altar is in the west; the altar-piece, composed of Derbyshire spars and marbles, and enriched with the figures of Faith and Hope, in bold relief, is the work of Cibber. The beautiful wood carving is said to be by Gibbons.

Leaving the Chapel the visitor is thence conducted up the west staircase, along the Sketch Galleries, the walls of which are covered with rare and valuable drawings - a collection comprising sketches of the best masters of the Flemish, Venetian, Spanish, French, and Italian schools. Rubens, Salvator Rosa, Claude Lorraine, Raffaelle, Titian, Coreggio, and other famous paintings are there. Chatsworth, in fact, is as much distinguished for its paintings, as for its sculptures.

The State Rooms occupy the third story of the south front, (which is 183 feet long and has ionic pilasters, the exterior approach being by a double flight of steps), and the entrances to them are so arranged that when the doors are thrown open, a remarkable vista is presented to the eye. These State rooms form the most magnificent portion of the oldest part of the mansion. The ceilings have been adorned by Verrio and Sir James Thornhill, including the Judgment of Paris, Phaeton taking charge of the horses of the sun, Aurora, as the morning star chasing away night, the discovery of Mars and Venus, and other mythological subjects. The doorcases are of Derbyshire marble, embellished with foliage and flowers;

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the floors are of oak parqueterie; and the whole suite furnished with costly cabinets, pictures, statuary, curiosities, Goblins tapestry, etc. The view from the windows of these rooms is very fine, overlooking the pleasure grounds, fountains, etc., and the charming scenery beyond.

On the ceiling of the State Dressing-room is a fine painting of Mercury on his mission to Paris; and in the room is a collection of antique China, and - most notable of all - an exquisite piece of wood carving, the masterpiece of Grinling Gibbons, one of the finest specimens of wood carving ever produced.

The State Bedroom contains the chairs and footstools used at the coronation of George III. and Queen Charlotte, (the fourth Duke of Devonshire being then Lord Chamberlain), the ward-robe of Louis XVI. etc. The canopy was embroidered, and the state chair of crimson velvet beautifully wrought with gold and in colours in needlework, (so we are told at Chatsworth) by Elizabeth (Hardwick), Countess of Shrewsbury; on the canopy are represented the arms of the second Earl of Devonshire and his wife Christian, daughter of Edward, Lord Bruce of Kinlosse. The arms and the ornaments - thistles, etc. - have been re-mounted on fresh velvet some thirty or forty years ago.

In the State Music-room, (which adjoins the gallery of the Chapel), is a portrait by Vansomer of the first Duke of Devonshire in his robes of state; and on a half-opened door is the marvellous painting of a fiddle, by Verrio. The walls of this room, as well as the State Bed-room, are hung with richly embossed leather. The model of a Russian farm-house will be noticed in this room. Here,

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too, are preserved the two quaint and gorgeously gilt chairs in which William IV. and Queen Adelaide were crowned; the fifth Duke of Devonshire being then Lord Chamberlain.

The walls of the State Drawing-room are clothed with rare Gobelins tapestry - the celebrated cartoons of Raffaelle. Here is the malachite table presented by the Grand Duchess Marie of Russia, on which is a framed portrait of her.

The exquisite wood carvings in the State Dining-room are entirely beyond description. Those over the fire-place are very remarkable; in fact, this is certainly one of the most magnificent rooms to be seen anywhere. On the grate in the fire-place appears the date 1695. On the table in the middle of the room is, among other rare things, the rosary of Henry VIII. The elegant malachite clock was presented by the Czar Nicholas of Russia, along with two vases of similar material. On the clock is a model, in bronze, of a boat in a storm, in which is a figure of Peter the Great.

In the life of Griming Gibbons, by Allan Cunningham, we find the claims of that artist strongly enforced. “All the wood carving in England”, says the author, “fades away before that of Gibbons, at Chatsworth. The birds seem to live, the foliage to shoot, the flowers to expand beneath your eye. The most marvellous work of all is a net of game; you imagine at the first glance that the gamekeeper has hung up his day's sport on the wall, and that some of the birds are still in the death - flutter. ...... ......... He was, however, much assisted at Chatsworth. The designs are from the pencil of Gibbons, and much of

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the carving too; but there is plenty of proof that the hand of Samuel Watson, a Derbyshire man, was extensively employed under him”. And again, Mr. Cunningham says, “There can be no doubt that Gibbons was the presiding artist in the embellishments of that princely residence of the Cavendishes. The stamp of his hand is legibly impressed everywhere. Who could have given that buoyant elegance to flowers, and that downy softness to feathers except himself? Had the real master-pieces of Chatsworth been Watson's, Watson would not have remained in Derbyshire to lead an obscure life, and be buried with a doggrell epitaph”.[5]

On leaving the State apartments the visitor proceeds along a Corridor, the walls of which are covered with Pictures, amongst which is a remarkable Dutch Painting of “Monks at Prayer”, into the Red-velvet-room or Billiard-room (but not so fitted up), stored with pictures and art treasures. The ceiling is painted by Sir James Thornhill. Here is Eastlake's picture of the Spartan Isidas. Many celebrated modern pictures have been added, such as “Bolton Abbey in the olden time”, “Laying down the Law”, &c.; works rendered popular by engravings.

We next pass down the Great Oak (or North) Staircase, on the walls of which are full length portraits of George IV. in his robes, by Sir T. Lawrence; The Emperor Nicholas of Russia and his Empress; William Spencer, sixth Duke of Devonshire; and a large painting of the celebrated race-horse, “Flying Childers”.

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The Sculpture Gallery, over a hundred feet in length, is the depository of some of the finest works of art in Chatsworth, and contains amongst other treasures:

Recumbent figure of the sleeping Endymion, with his dog watching at his feet, by Canova.

Achilles wounded, by Albicini.

Discobolus, or the Quoit-thrower, by Kessels; in one panel of the pedestal of which is an inlaid slab, containing specimens of Swedish porphyry and granite; in the other a mosaic from Herculaneum.

Venus wounded by treading on a rose, and Cupid carefully extracting the thorn, by Tanerani.

Cupid resting, by Trantanova. On the pedestal is displayed a profile in relief.

Bust of Napoleon Buouaparte, by Canova.

Madame Mère (Napoleon's Mother), by Canova.

Princess Borghese, recumbent, by Campbell.

Gott's Venus.

Five small columns from Constantinople; the Corinthian capitals of which were executed at Rome. They are surmounted with vases and balls.

Greyhound and Puppies, by Gott.

Rennie's colossal bust of Achilles.

Bacchante with Tamborine, by Bartolini.

Group, by Pozzi - Latona and her Children, Apollo and Diana.

Splendid Vase and Pedestal, presented by the Emperor Nicholas of Russia.

Two colossal Lions, in Carrara marble, one by Rinaldi, the other by Benaglia. Their united weight is upwards of eight tons.

Mars and Cupid, by Gibson.

Schwanenthaler's Schwanengesang (Swan-song).

Campbell's Princess Pauline.

Two elegant Tables: the smaller one composed of slabs of Labrador feldspar, and surrounded with a border of Elfdalen porphyry; the larger one of four columns of the Plasma Verde, surrounded by wreaths and scrolls of Derbyshire mosaic work. The margin is of the Derbyshire red marble. Both tables have richly gilt stands.

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Schadow's Venus Filatrice, the Spinning Girl. The pedestal is a fragment of a column from Trajan's forum.

Double bust of Isis and Serapis, sculptured at Rome, in Ashford black marble, sent by the Duke for the purpose.

Bust of Everett, by Powis.

The Venus Musidora, by Wyatt, on pedestal of Egyptian granite.

Colossal bust of Lucius Verus.

The Venus Genetrix of Thorwaldsen.

Bust of Alexander the Great.

Two Italian Dogs, in bronze, from an ancient marble in the Vatican. On the pedestal is an alto relievo of Count Ugolino and his sons, and allegorical figures of Famine and the River Arno.

The Cymbal Player, by R. Westmacott. The pedestal contains a bas-relief of two Bacchanti.

Two Egyptian porphyry Tables; on one of which is placed the Obelisk of the Vatican, and on the other the Obelisk of Constantine.

Busts of Ceres and Bacchante, by Rinaldi.

Bust of Petraroh's Laura, by Canova.

Bust of Pope Pius IX.

Hebe, by Canova.

Cupid enclosing in his hands the Butterfly, an image of Psyche, a Grecian emblem of the soul, by Fenelli.

Ganymede and the Eagle, by Tadolini.

Mars and Cupid, by Gibson.

Bust of Cardinal Gonsalvi, by Thorwaldsden.

The four circular niches at the end of the Gallery contain busts of the sixth Duke of Devonshire, by Campbell; Ariadne, by Gott; Canova, by Rinaldi; and an antique.

The centre of the room is occupied by the gigantic Mecklenberg Vase, by Canteen. It is twenty foot in circumference, is sculptured out of one block of granite, and stands on a foot and plinth of the same material.

Vase of Blue-John marble.

The Orangery is over one hundred feet long, well stored with orange trees of fine growth; some of which formed part of the collection of the Empress Josephine, at Malmaison. In a niche on the western side is a group of

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The Sculpture Gallery
The Sculpture Gallery

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figures, Venus and Cupid at play, and two circular compartments contain Thorwaldsen's Night and Morning, and his Priam and Achilles. Here is the fine white marble vase, after the Medicean vase in Florence, with Figures representing the intended sacrifice of lphigenia at the foot of the altar of Diana.

A flight of steps, ornamented on each side by dancing figures after Canova, lead from the Orangery into the gardens. The balustrades are adorned with two vases of Elfdalen porphyry, spotted with feldspar, and polished.

The Gardens are extensive, ranging from the house southward and eastward, and tastefully laid out in lawns, shrubberies, serpentine walks, diversified with fountains, and rock-work cascades. All the effects have been artificially produced, and with marvellous success.

The Water Works, by Grillet, are in the style of those at Versailles. The Great Cascade is situated on the side of the hill eastward of Chatsworth; the structure at its head resembles a temple, and is a good architectural object from different parts of the grounds. This building is ornamented with the carved heads of lions, dolphins, sea-nymphs, &c., through which, when in play, as well as from the floors and sides, the water rushes in great force, and after covering every part of it with foam and spray, falls into a basin in front, and rolls in waves down a vast number of steps, at the lower extremity of which it disappears among rude masses of stone, passing under the lawns to the river.

Proceeding southward the road winds through a sort of rocky defile. The “weeping willow” is an artificial tree of copper, so constructed that by turning a tap of an

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adjacent water-pipe it becomes a tree-shaped fountain producing a very singular and surprising effect. A little further on, our way is apparently blocked by a huge piece of rock, which turns on a pivot and acts as a gate. Hereabouts are piled rude masses of rock interspersed with shrubs, plants, and flowers, amidst beech, lime, sycamore, and other forest trees. The fountains - especially the great “Emperor” fountain which is said to discharge one thousand gallons per minute and to throw water over two hundred and fifty feet in height - are valuable adjuncts to the pretty scenery.

The Great Conservatory, before the erection of the Crystal Palace in 1851, was the largest building of its kind. Parallelogram in form, 276 by 123 feet, it has a central arched roof of 67 feet high, with a span of 70 feet, resting on two rows of iron pillars 28 feet high, dividing the space about equally. The entrance is through a sort of Grecian portico in the north end. Ample space is here afforded for some of the finest and loftiest productions of tropical climes, which appear to grow with native luxuriance. Through the centre of this tropical garden is a spacious carriage-way.

On leaving the Conservatory we ascend the steps to the terrace walks, which are carried round and about the extensive grounds, planted with luxuriant shrubs. A fine view is here obtained of the south front of Chatsworth House.

The large kitchen gardens, are situated northward of the house, and are not shown.

The visitor now walks across the pleasure grounds, passing on the way trees planted by Her Majesty, her

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mother, and the Prince Consort, many years ago, as well as others planted by an Emperor and Arch-Duke of Russia, and leaves through the gates which he entered. The old Hunting Tower is a picturesque object high up on the hill behind the house. It is a square building with turrets, and is said to have been originally designed for the accommodation of ladies to watch stag hunting. It is now used as a keeper's cottage, as well a flag tower, on which a flag is usually hoisted when the Duke is at Chatsworth.

The houses in the village of Edensor are built in various styles, almost every one different, a series of villas - Castellated, Norman, Italian, Swiss, Elizabethan, Ornamental. The old church at Edensor was pulled down in 1867, and its rebuiliding completed in 1870, from designs by Sir Gilbert Scott.

“The old church”, observes Llewellynn Jewitt, F.S.A. “consisted of a nave with side aisles and a chancel, and it had a square battlemented tower at its west end. The nave and western porch were also battlemented; the battlements being carried over the gable of the chancel-arch, in the centre of which was a niche for a Sanctus bell. The east window was of decorated character, as were those at the east end of the south aisle, and one near the priest's door on the south side of the chancel. Interiorly the church possessed many interesting features, including some remarkable capitals, which have mostly been preserved, with the curious monuments, and a carved corbel bearing the arms of Leche, as well as part of a sepulchral cross and other fragments, in the new edifice”.

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In the church is a Brass with a Latin inscription to the memory of John Beton, a faithful servant of Mary, Queen of Scotland, who was in attendance on her during her captivity at Chatsworth, and died in the year 1570. There is also a remarkably fine sixteenth-century Cavendish monument.

In the top corner of the church-yard, near to the tomb of the sixth Duke of Devonshire, is the grave of Lord Frederick Cavendish, who in 1882 grievously lost his life in Ireland. His cruel murder in Phoenix Park, Dublin, sent a thrill of horror through the whole country, and the feeling of profoundest sympathy with all the family was universally evoked.

In the “Peak Guide”, by Stephen Glover, published half-a-century ago, are accurate plans of Chatsworth House, showing the basement and all the storeys, reduced from the architectural plans of Sir Jeffrey Wyatville.

Rayner's Illustrations of Chatsworth, published in 1831, comprise six fine Drawings on stone.

Edensor Hotel is situated just outside the Park gates, and is widely known as an excellent, pleasantly situated and admirably conducted hotel. It is in connection with a similarly good hotel - S. Ann's Hotel, Buxton.

The road through the village of Edensor leads directly to Bakewell.

Chatsworth Page Footer

[1] “The Peak and the Plain” by Dr. Spencer T. Hall: a book now out of print and scarce.
[2] “History of Chesterfield, and descriptive accounts of Chatsworth, Hardwick, and Bolsover”, 1839. A new edition, with valuable notes, of a former work by Rev. George Hall, edited by Mr. Adams, of Derby (as I am informed by his son Mr. Alfred J. Adams, of Bakewell), whose name, curiously enough, does not appear in the book.
[3] This is a mistake for Hardwick. She finished building at Chatsworth soon after the death of her second husband. She was building the new Hall at Hardwick when she died.
[4] There are many very fine rooms, which are of necessity not shown to the numerous visitors to Chatsworth, but some of which may well have a brief notice here.

The Grand Drawing-room, which is in the south-east angle of the house, is a noble apartment, richly furnished and stored with valuable works of art, including the statue of Hebe by Canova, and portraits by Titian, Tintoretto, Dobson, Holbein (Henry VIII), Zuccero (Mary Queen of Scots), and Jansen (Charles I.) The Great Library, the second of the long range of rooms forming the east front - an extent of nearly five hundred and sixty feet, is one of the most splendid rooms in Chatsworth. The ground of the ceiling is white, adorned with burnished gold ornamental work, forming a handsome framework to several circular paintings set like precious gems within. The bookcases are of Spanish mahogany, and are divided into compartments by semi-circular metallic columns, richly gilt; these expand into a finely formed leaf, and support the floor of a gallery carried along three sides of the room, for the convenience of reaching books from the upper shelves. There are upwards of 25,000 volumes in the library, amongst which are many exceedingly rare and precious books, Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, etc.

The Ante-library is fitted up in the same style. The ceiling is adorned with a beautiful picture by Hayter, and two smaller subjects by C. Landseer. Two handsome vases of a peculiar kind of marble, supported on half columns of granite, and an immense collection of medallions of distinguished persons, ancient and modern, are among the curiosities of this room. A door on the west side opens into the Great Oak or North Staircase. The Cabinet-library has a coved ceiling, divided into compartments, and supported by columns of marble.

The doors of the Libraries are apparently covered with books on shelves uniform with the book-shelves - false and imitated backs of impossible books, the fictitious titles having been supplied for the purpose, among others, by Thomas Hood, who contributed “Boyle on Steam”, “Lamb on the death of Wolf”, “Cursory Remarks on Swearing”, “Ray's Light of Reason”. “Plain Dealings”, “Inigo Jones on Secret Entrances”, “Wren's Voyage to Canaries”, etc.

The Dining-room ceiling is slightly coved, and divided into numerous gilt panels on a ground of white. The deep plinth that surrounds the room, and all below the sur-base, are of polished Hopton marble. The walls are adorned with family portraits, by Vandyke, Honthorst, and Sir Godfrey Kneller. The doorcases are columns of Sicilian jasper and African marble, based on suitable pedestals, and surmounted with Grecian capitals. The two chimney-pieces are sculptured with life-sized figures in full relief, one by the younger Westmacott, the other by Siever.

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in May 2013.

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