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Thursday, September 25, 2014

DAY 4 - Day Trip to Chatsworth Estate

Sept. 6 - The UK's Favorite Country House

What sweet ladies these two are!  They're so helpful and have such great attitudes.  It was a pleasure to live with them for 6 days.  They took turns - we had so much fun and their families are awesome!

They miss their mother a lot, but I think their Dad would say they are both like her in many ways.
My cousins came and got me and we were off through the country and on our way to the famous Chatsworth Mansion.  First we went through Ashbourne and got a glimpse of the town that our ancestors would have shopped.


John got to sit in the front seat this time, so it would be his fault if we got lost.
We did end up getting lost and going way out of our way to get there, but it was beautiful countryside.  The trip was supposed to only take 45 minutes, but took about two hours instead.

Chatsworth House is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire and has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549.  The house, set in a beautiful parkland and backed by wooded, rocky hills, contains a unique collection of priceless paintings, furniture, Old Master drawings, neoclassical sculptures, books and other artifacts.
It was chilly, so this hot butternut squash was very good and custard pie was a treat!

Chatsworth has 126 rooms, with nearly 100 of them closed to visitors. The house is well-adapted to allow the family to live privately in their apartments while the house is open to the public.
Going through the mansion was just amazing.  The artwork and fancy rooms were absolutely stunning!





It consists of 105 acres.  There are five miles of walks with rare trees, shrubs, formal hedges, temples, sculptures old and new, streams and ponds.
During WWII, the 10th Duke, anticipating that schoolgirls would make better tenants than soldiers, arranged for Chatsworth to be occupied by a girl's college. The contents of the house were packed away in 11 days and, in September 1939, 300 girls and their teachers moved in for a six-year stay. The whole of the house was used, including the state rooms, which were turned into dormitories

Condensation from the breath of the sleeping girls caused fungus to grow behind some of the pictures. The house was not very comfortable for so many people, with a shortage of hot water, but they managed.

Note the violin in the background behind the door.  It's actually a painting - looks 3-dimentsional!






The staff at Chatsworth in the 1930's consisted of a butler, under butler, groom of the chambers, valet, three footmen, a housekeeper, the Duchess's maid, 11 housemaids, two sewing women, a cook, two kitchen maids, a vegetable maid, two or three scullery maids, two stillroom maids, a dairy maid, six laundry maids and the Duchess's secretary. All of these 38 or 39 people lived in the house. Daily staff included the odd man, upholsterer, scullery-maid, two scrubbing women, laundry porter, steam boiler man, coal man, two porter's lodge attendants, two night firemen, night porter, two window cleaners, and a team of joiners, plumbers and electricians. The Clerk of Works supervised the maintenance of the house and other properties on the estate. There were also grooms, chauffeurs and gamekeepers. The number of garden staff was somewhere around 80 in the 6th Duke's time. 


I had the chance to play a beautiful Steinway grand piano in the library.  A young man played before me, then my cousin, Lloyd, urged me to play something.  I decided to entertain everyone with Fur Elise by Beethoven because I knew most would recognize it.  Lloyd videoed it, so I'll get a copy of it later.



So many famous women slept in these beautiful rooms.  Anne, Queen of Scotts was one of them.









In 1944, Kathleen Kennedy, sister of John F. Kennedy, married William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, the elder son of the 10th Duke of Devonshire. However, he was killed in action in Belgium later in 1944, and Kathleen died in a plane crash in 1948.



After poor Billy's death, Chatsworth was abandoned for 15 years.






I love the painting of this little girl!


Here are twenty four steps of the 300 year old Cascade, falling 200 yards down the hill, the magic of water shooting from the branches of the willow tree fountain, the trough waterfall, and Revelation, the water-powered sculpture.


This flower is so beautiful.  I just had to take a picture of it!


Very cool tree - probably quite old!


The color of the building was because of the color of rock in the area.

This 50 foot fountain in the highest fountain in all of Europe.

Recognize Winston Churchill talking to Teddy Roosevelt?




Our tour guide knows a lot about the sculptures.


These two guys are the GREATEST!!  What a day we have had!

The ruins of a famous greenhouse on the grounds.

I lost the notes I had taken about this, but a man was responsible for all these rock sculptures.  They are amazing as our tour guide took us through this little park.



Can you see the large bee hive?




BYE-BYE Chatsworth!  We had a most lovely day here!