|Grand staircase in the Painted Hall, which dates from the 1680s.|
You were allowed to take photographs inside Chatsworth House (no tripod, no flash) so, although the weather precluded much outdoor photography, I did take a few interiors. The public rooms can best be described as opulent: dripping with priceless paintings and antiques, ceramics, gold and silverware, tapestries and exotic carpets. Quite breathtaking! Unlike a museum that gathers collections together, this is a home full of treasure that has been passed down through generations of the Cavendish family. Everything belongs to them (now leased to the Chatsworth House Trust) and has been acquired, purchased, collected and curated throughout history. Currently the display theme is 'The Grand Tour', showcasing many priceless objects collected by family members when doing their 'grand tours' of Europe - the educational rites of passage traditionally undertaken by aristocratic young men, from the late 1600s through to the advent of mass rail travel in the 1840s.
Many of the rooms are kept dark to protect the contents from damaging sunlight and to preserve the tapestries, paintings and frescoes on the walls and ceilings.
|The Dining Room, dating to the era of the 6th Duke of Devonshire in the 19th century. Princess (later Queen) Victoria attended her first formal 'adult' dinner in this room, aged 13, in 1832.|
|Chatsworth's beautiful - and very cosy - library, transformed by the 6th Duke to house his huge collections of books.|