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Chatsworth House

Duke of Devonshire's Home, Derbyshire

One must see in the Peak District is Chatsworth House. Chatsworth is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire and the house has been in the Cavendish family since 1549. Something to note, the Devonshire name is not necessarily the last name of the Duke and his family. For instance, the Duke of Devonshire's family's last name is Cavendish and the Duke of Rutland's last name is Manners. There is a Kennedy connection to Chatsworth. The sister of John F. Kennedy, Kathleen Kennedy, married William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, the elder son of the 10th Duke of Devonshire in May 1944. He unfortunately died in action in Belgium in 1944 and Kathleen died in a plane crash in 1948. Currently, the family is on the 12th Duke of Devonshire, Peregrine Cavendish.

Elizabeth Cavendish, later Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury also known as Bess of Hardwick, was cunning lady who married strategically (she had four husbands) and is often associated with Chatsworth House. Sir William Cavendish (her second husband) and Bess of Hardwick originally started construction of Elizabethan Chatsworth in 1552; however, little evidence remains of the original house. Elizabeth I found Mary, Queen of Scots, to be a threat to the throne and held her captive under the watchful eye of the 6th Earl of Shrewsberry, Bess's fourth husband. Bess teamed up with Mary during part of her captivity at Chatsworth and the two created the Oxburgh Hangings, which are on display in Oxburgh Hall.

Chatsworth House: https://www.chatsworth.org

Side of Chatsworth:
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Our tour started just outside of the North Entrance Hall, where we received a brief talk on the history of the house. We then passed through the North Entrance Hall into the North Sub-Corridor and into the Painted Hall.

Painted Hall:
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Grotto:
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Chapel Corridor:
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The Chapel was constructed between 1688 and 1693:
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The Oak Room apparently used to be called the Summer Breakfast Room by the 6th Duke.
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Great Stairs:
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Great Chamber:
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State Drawing Room:
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This chair was apparently the Coronation Chair of King George III.
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The State Music Room was one of the most interesting rooms to see. For starters, the violin on the door is actually a painting using the "Trompe l'oeil " method which uses realistic images to create an optical illusion. The 6th Duke was apparently very wealthy and very vain. He installed gilded leather walls...yes gilded leather walls... and had his portrait carved into the wooden busts at the top of the walls all around the room. When talking with the docent in the room, he mentioned a story that the Duke purportedly wrote in his diary perhaps he had gone too far with that...you think?
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Gilded Leather Walls:
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The bed in State Bedchamber was originally made for Kensington Palace. George II supposedly died in the bed. The bed was given to the 4th Duke as a gift for serving as the Lord Chamberlain.
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State Closet:
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The Cabinet Room isn't an official room in the house. It was created in 2012 to display some of the many works of art and furniture in the house. The family was hit hard by the inheritance tax in the 1950s. In all, the family owned at least five homes and they all had to be sold off to pay the tax and all of the items in the houses were consolidated in Chatsworth. Many items go on loan to various places for exhibitions. For example, currently Sotheby's New York galleries has "Treasures from Chatsworth: The Exhibition" on view from from 28 June through 18 September 2019.
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Sotheby's link: https://www.sothebys.com/en/series/treasures-from-chatsworth-the-exhibition

Guest Bedrooms:
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Oak Stairs:
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The Library was my favorite room in the house.
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Ante Library:
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Great Dining Room:
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Vestibule:
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Sculpture Gallery:
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The House puts on different exhibitions every year (as well as spectacular Christmas display, I'm told) and this year's theme was The Dog. I really enjoyed how The Dog theme was worked into every room we went into and not just set off at the end with everything in the exhibition in one room. There were paintings, statues, modern works of art, etc. So, here is one of the pieces. Meet Bashaw, The Faithful Friend of Man...he was created by Matthew Cotes Wyatt, 1831-1834. Bashaw is made of marble and headstone. His eyes are topaz, sardonyx and black lava. The snake is made of bronze and has ruby eyes, the mount is made of gilt bronze. The piece was on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum.
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Capability Brown left his mark on the Gardens at Chatsworth:
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I enjoyed Chatsworth and I would absolutely return. The weather wasn't very cooperative and the house was crowded. There was also construction happening on the grounds and it appeared there was some sort of event being set up, so all of that kind of took away from the grandeur of the house in some regard. The land surrounding the house was all farm land with lots of grazing sheep all over the hills. I hope we do get back to the Peak District and to Chatsworth at some point. That concludes our trip to the Peak District!

On to the next adventure...

Posted by LCP 11:35 Archived in England Tagged dog the of queen house i mary elizabeth devonshire duke brown hangings chatsworth capability scots oxburgh bess hardwick Comments (1)

Haddon Hall

Bakewell, Derbyshire

As part of our trip to the Peak District, our wonderful AirBnb host recommended we check out Haddon Hall. It was originally not part of our plan for the Peak District, but I can't resist a good hall, manor, house, castle, etc. Haddon Hall is an English country house on the River Wye near Bakewell, Derbyshire. Again, I'm not sure I understand "country house" as the description of the house, it is like a castle. Haddon is often referred to as a "fortified manor house." Haddon Hall is the seat of the Duke of Rutland (who also owns and lives at Belvoir Castle). The Duke's brother, Lord Manners, lives at Haddon and we were told the family was entertaining later that evening. The hall was thought to have been originally constructed in the 11th and 12th centuries. The oldest part of the Hall is King John's Wall (pictures below) thought to date back to 1195 and modified in 1370. Haddon Hall has been in the Manners family since 1567.

Haddon Hall: https://www.haddonhall.co.uk

We were on a self-guided tour of Haddon Hall. There was a brief discussion on the house in the Banqueting Hall when we arrived. We entered the Hall under the North-West Tower, and then walked through the Lower Courtyard.

River Wye:
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Lower Courtyard:
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Then, we made our way to the kitchen.
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Food preparation table worn down:
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Much loved cutting board:
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Three kitchen sinks. Live fish may have been kept in one of the basins:
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Next was the Bakery, with dual ovens:
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The Butchery:
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The Buttery:
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The Dole cupboards were in between the Bakery and the Butchery. These wooden "dole" cupboards were filled with food and leftovers from the kitchen and placed outside in the evenings so people passing by could take some of the food without having to ask. Apparently the phrase "on the dole" comes from the Dole cupboards. I've never heard the phrase before.
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We walked to the Banqueting Hall next. This one one of my favorite rooms in the house. There was also a fire going, so that may have had something to do with it ;). Fun fact about the table, apparently when the family was finished eating the table would be opened up for the dogs to clean off. There were even dog gates at the bottom of the steps, which I didn't get a picture of because I didn't realize they were dog gates.
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The Minstrel's Gallery in the background of this picture dates back to the 15th century.
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One of the windows in the Banqueting Hall:
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The tapestry on the wall is said to have been a gift from Henry VIII. The tapestry was probably made during the reign of King Edward IV in the 15th century.
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We then moved into The Parlour, or for us commoners, the Dining Room. This room had extensive intricate woodwork. I tried to get a few pictures but I am not quite sure they capture the level of detail.
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Ceiling:
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Example of the detailed woodwork:
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In the window recess of the Parlour:
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Carved figures in oak paneling, possibly Henry VII and Queen Elizabeth of York.
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View from the Parlour:
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Onto the Great Chamber:
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Window recess in the Great Chamber:
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The Earl's Apartment. There was a small fireplace in the corner of the room and several royals who have visited Haddon signed their names here.
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The Long Gallery is probably the most famous room in the house. The room would have been used as what us commoners would call an indoor track so one could still exercise without having to endure the elements outside. The Long Gallery was also used for less strenuous activities such as gaming and needlework and probably also for balls. The windows are really unique in this room. The diamond shaped panes are set at different angles giving it a wavey appearance which maximizes the use of daylight.
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Ceiling:
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Window pane:
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We walked through a few Ante-rooms with beautiful tapestries on the walls. Tapestries were a sign of wealth.
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Our final room was the State Bedroom. There is no bed in the State Bedroom, but there is a billiards table. The state bed was moved to Belvoir Castle and sits in the Picture Gallery there. Also, I took a picture of what the room would have looked like back in the day.
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Oldest Part of Haddon Hall, King John's Wall:
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The Chapel was really interesting. The frescoes on the wall are thought to have been commissioned in the 15th century.
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The gardens at Haddon were beautiful. The weather wasn't very cooperative, but I managed to get out during breaks in the rain to take a few pictures. I really enjoyed the different levels of gardens.
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Haddon Hall is definitely one of my absolute favorite Halls that we have visited in England. The gardens were beautiful and the hall had a somewhat "homely" feel to it. On to Chatsworth House...

Posted by LCP 01:58 Archived in England Tagged of district peak hall duke manners vernon bakewell haddon belvoir rutland Comments (2)

Belvoir Castle

Leicestershire

Greetings! Today's adventure took us to Belvoir Castle, meaning "beautiful view." The name Belvoir is actually pronounced Beaver... Yes, beaver...Not sure I understand how Belvoir became Beaver, but oh well. The castle is privately owned by the 11th Duke of Rutland who lives at the castle (the Duke also owns Haddon Hall which is located in the Peak District because who doesn't need two manors these days), and is open to the public on certain dates throughout the year. The house has been lived in by the family for over 500 years. The castle is famous for being the Windsor Castle "stand in" for the Netflix series, The Crown. It has also been used in several films that feature royal history. Every monarch since James I has stayed overnight at Belvoir Castle, except for the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II (although she has been to Belvoir).

Belvoir Castle: https://www.belvoircastle.com

There have been four castles built on the hilltop. The first ground breaking was in 1067 and the castle as we saw it when we visited was from the 19th century and renovated between 1801 and 1832. Elizabeth Manners, the wife of the 5th Duke of Rutland, oversaw the renovations and clearly decorated the castle for showing off and entertaining. She took inspiration from traveling across Europe and recreated those inspirations at Belvoir. Each new generation of the Rutland family that takes over the castle, leaves their mark in one room or another. To call the castle opulent was certainly an understatement, it was spectacular! Unfortunately, photography was not allowed inside of the castle, so I took some exterior pictures as well as several in the Rose Garden. Capability Brown's last "great" garden design was also at Belvoir. I just can't seem to escape his "landscape artistry." There are several gardens and walks at the castle (Japanese Woodland, Duchess's Garden, Hermit's Garden, and the Duke's Walk), but we were only able to get to the Spiral Garden and the Rose Garden.

Fun fact, there are a couple of books our tour guide suggested that are associated with Belvoir Castle. One which the current Duke of Rutland authored and another based on some history of the house. I included links below, in case anyone would like more information about the books.

Resolution: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Resolution-Brothers-Nation-Crisis-World/dp/1784979910
The Secret Rooms: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/nov/16/the-secret-rooms-catherine-bailey-review

Castle:
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Views:
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Gardens:
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Flowers:
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Belvoir Castle was pretty spectacular and definitely did remind me of Windsor Castle in many ways. It definitely had the typical Norman feel to it; high on a hilltop (hard to invade) and fortified, which is pretty typical of the defensive network of castles William the Conqueror had constructed. We had a great tour guide during our tour and I would like to return to explore some of the other walking trails and gardens.

On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 23:47 Archived in England Tagged the of castle norman crown duke william brown beaver manners capability belvoir rutland conqueror Comments (2)

Belton House

National Trust Property in Lincolnshire

Greetings! This weekend's adventure took us to Belton House in Lincolnshire. Belton House was north of Burghley House and Grimsthorpe Castle, and also just off of the A1. It is situated in Belton near Grantham. The house sits on over 1300 acres of land and is often referred to as a traditional English country estate. The architecture of Belton is Carolean or Restoration style, which was popular in England following the restoration of the monarchy in the 1660 until the 1680s, after Charles II. Belton House is a National Trust property. The guides at the National Trust properties are FANTASTIC and so helpful.

Belton House: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/belton-house

Belton House has been in the Brownlow and Cust families for over three hundred years. The land for the house was purchased in the late sixteenth century by Richard Brownlow, who was appointed to the very important and very lucrative position of Chief Prothonotary of the Court of Common Pleas. I am not sure what all of that means, but one of the wonderful guides said in layman's terms, he was a tax collector for Queen Elizabeth I. Richard Brownlow was interested in investing in land and spent a lot of his income on land in Lincolnshire. This proved lucrative for future generations. Construction of the home did not actually begin until 1685 when the land belonged to Sir John Brownlow. The land and House passed through many Brownlow and Custs families, who did various things to the home. Belton House was given to the National Trust in 1984.

Ownership timeline
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Belton House
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The tour started on the side of the house. This is the courtyard entrance to the tour.
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The tour started in the Anteroom, which led into the Study.
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After the Study, we went into the Tapestry Room. Tapestries were a sign of wealth back in the day, so the more you had and displayed, the more wealthy you appeared. I noticed a lot of pictures of the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson in this room, so I asked the guide what connection the Duke had to Belton House. Apparently, Peregrine "Perry" Adelbert Cust, the 6th Baron of Brownlow, who inherited Belton in 1927, was a close friend of the Duke of Windsor, while he was king and was even appointed Lord in Waiting. He advised Edward VIII (his name as king), to move Wallis to France to prevent an abdication, since the government would not recognize the marriage of the King to Wallis. Perry even persuaded Wallis to give up the King and sign a statement to that effect on 7 December 1936. The King rejected this and ended up abdicating on 10 December. And naturally, Perry fell out of favor with the family. According to the guide, when the current Queen, Elizabeth II, was getting married in 1947, the invitation to her wedding was addressed to Lady Brownlow only.
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After the Tapestry room, it was into the Marble Hall.
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The Marble Hall led us to the Staircase Hall, which was rather impressive.
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Next was the Saloon.
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This was the view from the ceiling room. The gardens looked lovely, but we were dealing with some remnants of Storm Hannah, so we didn't get to go into the gardens...oh well that just means we have to go back!
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Tyrconnel Room
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Coat of arms in the Tyrconnel Room
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Cabinet Room. This is where you will find the famous lapis lazuli cabinet.
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Blue Bedroom
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Yellow Bedroom
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Chinese Bedroom. This was the room the Duke of Windsor liked to stay in.
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Queen's Room. This room was named for Queen Adelaide, the widow of William IV.
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Ante Library
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I think my favorite room was the Library.
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Boudoir
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Windsor Bedroom and Windsor Bathroom. These were the most modern rooms at Belton. The Windsor Bedroom is the only room with an attached en suite. This room was used by Prince Charles when he was a cadet at the nearby RAF base.
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West Staircase. Not as bright as Staircase Hall.
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Breakfast Room
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The Breakfast Room led into the the Dining Room and the Red Drawing Room. The Dining Room was used for entertaining and in the evening the men would stay in the Dining Room while the ladies would retreat into the Red Drawing Room

Red Drawing Room. The guide mentioned the room was being prepared for a restoration project, so furniture had been moved around.
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Dining Room
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Gardens
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We also opted for the Basement Tour, but unfortunately, photography was not allowed. The tour was interesting because it covered life as a servant in the house and in the times of Belton and how the house changed to meet evolving needs. One interesting note was the importance of beer. As a servant, if you missed a meal you just had to go hungry; however, the beer served with the meal was saved for you.

We will definitely have to return to Belton House to visit the park and gardens. I also wouldn't mind another look at the House.

On to the next adventure!

Posted by LCP 09:12 Archived in England Tagged house national charles windsor prince duke trust wallis belton brownlow cust simpson Comments (2)

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