Chatsworth House, garden and farmyard opens 19 March and this year there are some really exciting things happening, including a variety of workshops, tours and talks including:
- Life on Chatsworth with the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire
- Floristry courses
- Behind the scenes toutrs
- Farmyard courses for beginners
Here’s a quick look at what visitors to the Derbyshire estate can look forward to this Spring.
The Capability Brown Festival 2016
During the Capability Brown Festival year marking the 300th anniversary of Britain’s most influential landscape gardener, Chatsworth will have interpretations and explanations of the work he carried out on the well-loved parkland. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s landscapes are synonymous with England’s green and pleasant land with their seemingly natural rolling hills, curving lakes, flowing rivers and majestic trees. After centuries of stiff, formal and enclosed gardens, Brown transformed landscapes across England in the 18th century using a new natural style, now considered quintessentially English. Chatsworth is planning to open a new purpose built exhibition space in the Game Larder within the park in Summer 2016, subject to Heritage Lottery Funding. The Game Larder will house a permanent exhibition about the development of the landscape, featuring a section on Brown to tie in with the 300 year anniversary. Please check the Chatsworth website for further details of events and talks throughout the year.
Masterplan Project Phase Four
Current to November 2017
The final phase of the Masterplan, the monumental renovation and restoration project launched in 2005 with a total value of £32.7million, is now underway with completion scheduled for November 2017. One of the largest projects undertaken by Chatsworth since the 6th Duke built his great North Wing in the 1820s, this fourth phase focuses on the East side of the house which faces towards the Cascade in the garden, with scaffolding now in place to enable the stone to be cleaned, repointed and repaired. Rotten stones will be removed and replaced with new stone taken from Burntwood Quarry, the location of the stone used to build the North Wing. Once the work is completed, all the facades of the house will appear newly rejuvenated. Other work includes replacing coverings on 23 roofs; installing hundreds of roof vents and thermal insulation; joinery repairs and rebuilding chimney stacks. The Orangery rooflight will be restored and solar and UV film will be applied to the glass to keep the building cool in hot summer months.
19 March – 10 April
One of the biggest and most popular Easter egg hunts in the region, Easter crafts in the barn and a ride on the magical Easter Eggspress are just some of the treats in store for those who visit Chatsworth this Easter as the estate opens for the new season. There’s something for visitors of all ages to enjoy, from free face painting in Flora’s Temple to egg hunt trails in the house and garden and of course, the chance to spot the Easter Bunny who will be hopping by to deliver treats every day of the Easter weekend (25-28 March).
Never a Bore: Deborah Devonshire and Her Set by Cecil Beaton
19 March -3 Jan 2017
Never a Bore is a fascinating collection of rarely seen and intimate photographs of the late Dowager Duchess, Deborah Devonshire, and her glittering social circle, taken by her friend and well known portrait photographer Cecil Beaton. The exhibition takes its inspiration from one of Beaton’s most famous remarks: “Perhaps the world’s second-worst crime is boredom; the first is being a bore.” This new exhibition presents around 65 photographs from The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, on loan from Sotheby’s, along with other rarely seen items from the Chatsworth archive. Combined with Cecil Beaton’s insightful and witty commentary on many of his subjects, Never a Bore will recreate the essence of the Duchess’s world and dazzling social set. On display in the New gallery, the exhibition is included in house admission.
A Grand Tour of the Devonshire Collection
19 March – June 2016
In season two of the Grand Tour cultural partnership with Nottingham Contemporary, The Harley Gallery and Derby Museums, Chatsworth will celebrate the Grand Tour and early continental travel from the perspective of the Devonshire families’ own Grand Tours in an exhibition entitled ‘A Grand Tour of the Devonshire Collection’. From the 2nd Earl, in the company of his tutor, the famous philosopher Thomas Hobbes; to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire’s exile on the continent, ‘A Grand Tour of the Devonshire Collection’ looks at what they saw, where they went, and what they and their contemporaries bought. The exhibition will show some important works, which are seldom on public view, including works by Canaletto, Domenichino’s ‘Madonna della Rosa’, the sketchbooks of Inigo Jones and Van Dyck and ‘Rome in Ruins’ – an evocative collection of drawings by Sebastian Vrancx.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show Laurent-Perrier Chatsworth garden at Comes Home
19 March onwards
Landscape and garden designer Dan Pearson created a beautiful representation of a small – less trodden – part of the 105 acre Chatsworth Garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show which went on to win ‘Best in Show’. In line with Pearson’s passion for naturalism and the wilder side of gardening, the show garden was inspired by Chatsworth’s ornamental Trout stream and Paxton’s rockery. Due to launch in spring 2016, Pearson’s work can be now viewed at Chatsworth itself as part of a regeneration project of the Trout stream area. The plants and rocks used within the show garden – including azalea, Rhododendron loderi, native woodrush, and various ferns sourced from Chatsworth – as well as many of the other plants, benches, decks and the large oak sculpture by David Nash have now been installed and planted along the Trout stream, with further planting to be added throughout the year. Although many of the items can already be appreciated, the area will provide most interest and colour from late spring onwards.
The Dodson & Horrell International Horse Trials
13 – 15 May 2016
The Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials is three days of thrilling equestrian sport, combined with entertainment for all the family in the beautiful surroundings of Chatsworth. Visitors will enjoy world class competition, from elegant dressage, to exciting show jumping and thrilling cross country. There will also be entertainment and activities for the whole family, and the shopping village with more than 100 high quality trade stands.
For more information and ticketing options, visit www.chatsworth.org