The Gardens at Chatsworth House are extensive, to say the least. There are 105 acres of gardens and they are full of surprises, with waterworks, sculptures, the maze and a wide variety of plants on show. The gardens have been evolving for the past 450 years, with the Bachelor Duke and Joseph Paxton perhaps having had the largest, surely the costliest, influence on the grounds. In 1811 the 6th Duke (known as the Bachelor Duke) inherited a neglected and fifteen years passed before Joseph Paxton was appointed as head gardener. Paxton proved to be the most innovative garden designer of his era, and remains the greatest single influence on Chatsworth’s garden.
In addition to the 300 year old Cascade, the Gardens include the gravity-fed Emperor Fountain, above. In 1844, it became known that Czar Nicholas, Emperor of Russia might visit Chatsworth. The Duke thought to welcome the Czar with an even higher fountain than the one at Peterhof (the Czar’s palace in N.E. Russia), and so an existing fountain was renovated. Unfortunately, the Czar never visited Chatsworth, but the new fountain was still named after him.
Above and below are photos of Blanche's Vase, on the Long Walk, named for Blanche Georgiana Cavendish, nee Howard, granddaughter of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. Blanche married William Cavendish, 2nd Earl of Burlington, but tragically died at the age of 28 in 1840. Her uncle, the Duke of Devonshire, was left heartbroken by the death of his favorite niece and wrote the following: "There are many things at Chatsworth that I should not have allowed myself to do had I not reposed in the thoughts of being succeeded by a person so indulgent, so much attached to me as Blanche." ('The Garden at Chatsworth' by Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire).
The latest restoration project at the Gardens has been conducted on the Trout Stream. You'll find a short video on the project here.
We'll be spending an entire day exploring the Chatsworth gardens during Number One London's 2017 Country House Tour. Our estate guide will share the hidden stories and history of the gardens, including the famed glasshouses built by Joseph Paxton, and a picnic lunch will be served in the gardens. You'll find complete tour details here.
Labels: A Tour Guide in England, Kristine Hughes