Duke and Duchess shine a light on hidden Chatsworth

Chatsworth House. Photo by Scott Merrylees.
Chatsworth House. Photo by Scott Merrylees.

From Mary, Queen of Scots to Elizabeth II, John F Kennedy to the Mitford sisters, and Charles Dickens to Evelyn Waugh, Chatsworth has played host to an extraordinary cast of characters in its long and celebrated history.

This winter the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, their son Lord Burlington, and key members of the team that keep the great estate running will be sharing some of their favourite stories in a series of talks about life at Chatsworth.

Shining a light on some of the more unusual objects, people and places found both below stairs, in the gilded halls of the house and across the estate, the talks run from 18 January to 8 March and will give a revealing insight into the history and people who have made Chatsworth what it is today.

A tale of two houses, January 18, 2019

Sharing perspectives on the Tudor period at Chatsworth and Hardwick Hall, Chatsworth collections manager, Alice Martin, and Hardwick House & collections manager, Nigel Wright, will explore scenes from the lives of Bess of Hardwick and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Dressed to impress, January 25, 2019

As the ‘House Style’ exhibition of 2017 revealed, the Devonshire family and their servants have always ‘dressed to impress’. Marie, an expert from the Textiles team, will give a fascinating insight into Chatsworth’s historical relationship with contemporary fashions with details from the Devonshire archives and historic costume collection.

Hidden Chatsworth, January 29, 2019

The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire reveal some of the recent discoveries made at Chatsworth during the 10-year restoration completed in 2018, the biggest in almost 200 years, and share some of the hidden features not seen every day.

Decisive moments, February 1, 2019

After university Lord Burlington studied photography under Jorge Lewinski and here he discusses his personal collection, including photographic moments from the Cavendish family history.

Graffiti and other stories, February 15, 2019

From historic political graffiti on floorboards to names scratched on window panes, Head Housekeeper Janet Bitton reveals some of her favourite discoveries, often unseen by visitors.

The garden: past, present and future, 1 March 2019

With predecessors including giants such as Joseph Paxton and Capability Brown, Chatsworth Head Gardener Steve Porter will share his insights into the history of the Chatsworth Garden and its future.

Seasonal park walks, March 2019–October 9 2019

Take in some of the best views and discover fascinating stories as you are led by an expert guide on our seasonal park walks.

Weird weather, March 8, 2019

From unusually cold weather and heavy rain in the early months of the year to the heatwave of the summer, the exceptional weather challenges of 2018 posed some unusual challenges for Chatsworth as explained by Farms Manager, David Howlett, and Head Forester, John Everitt.

Apart from the seasonal walks, all talks are taking place in the Hartington room. While the house, garden and farmyard are closed for the winter (reopening on March 23, 2019), the stables shop and restaurant are open daily from 10.30am to 4pm, while the farmyard and playground are also open during half-term, February 16-24, 2019.