Nestled in the natural grandeur of the Peak District, Chatsworth House is one of the jewels of the Midlands. In fact, few other stately homes in England can compete with Chatsworth in beauty, situation and history.
In addition to its sheer size, Chatsworth is a profusion of fine collections of paintings, drawings, furniture, sculpture and works of art spanning over four centuries. Not surprisingly, Chatsworth is listed as one of the ten Treasure Houses of England.
The palace has been home to the Cavendish family since the 16th century, when it was first built by 'Bess of Hardwick' (c. 1527-1608) her second husband Sir William Cavendish (1505-57). Another William Cavendish was created Earl of Devonshire in 1618, and his great-great-grand-son, the 5th of 11 consecutive "William's" was made Duke of Devonshire and Marquess of Hartington by William of Orange in 1694.
Mary, Queen of the Scots was a prisoner at Chatsworth between 1569 and 1584 under the guard of the Earl of Shrewsbury.
The 1st Duke of Devonshire built the State Rooms and redesign the whole house between 1686 and 1707. The house was further altered and embellish with paintings and sculpture by the extravagant 6th Duke in the first half of the 19th century.
The 7th Duke was a scholar best remembered for founding the Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge University. The 8th Duke stayed over 50 years in Parliament and was asked three time by Queen Victoria to become Prime Minister, but refused each time.
Chatsworth lost a considerable amount of works of art and land at the 10th Duke's death in 1955 to pay for the £7 million inheritance tax (80% of the estate's estimated worth). In May 2004, Peregrine Cavendish succeeded his father as the 12th Duke of Devonshire and proprietor of Chatsworth.
Opening Hours & Admission
Chatsworth House is open daily from 16 March to 21 December between 11 am and 5:30 pm (last admission 4:30 pm). Admission to the house and garden is £11.50 for adults, £9.50 for senior citizens and students, and £6.25 for children.
The Garden is open from 11am (10:30am from June to August) to 6pm (last entry 5pm). Admission to the garden only is £7.50 for adults,k £6 for senior citizens and students, and £4.50 for children.
How to get there
Chatsworth is 5 km east of Bakewell and 15 km south-west of Sheffield. Bus No 179 runs between Bakewell and Chatsworth twice a day from Monday to Saturday, while bus No 211 runs 4 times on Sundays. Virgin also operates buses from Bakewell and Buxton between June and September.
National Express has one daily bus to Bakewell from Derby (50min, £6.25) and Leicester (1h45min, £14.50).