The 'Palace of the Peak District' and Britain's favourite country house
Set in a 30,000-acre estate on the east bank of the River Derwent, Chatsworth House is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire. Despite being situated in Derbyshire, the 1st Earl of Devonshire was so called because the title of the Earl of Derby was not available. In 1694, William Cavendish (fifth generation) was made the 1st Duke of Devonshire by William III of Orange. Since 1549, Chatsworth has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family.
Boasting one of the finest private art collections in the world, treasures have been acquired by the Cavendish family from the 16th century to the present day: artefacts from ancient Egypt; Elizabethan needlework to Enlightenment scientific instruments; Old Master drawings; neoclassical to 21st century sculpture; and computer portraits. The Devonshire Collection includes paintings of Chatsworth and the Cavendish family throughout the ages by masters of the day, including Sir Anthony van Dyck, Pompeo Batoni, John Singer Sargent and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Recently opened, the New Gallery also houses a programme of exhibitions that are exclusive to Chatsworth. The magnificent Painted Hall, with its grand staircase and painted ceiling, is awe-inspiring to behold.
As one of Britain's favourite attractions, the recent three-part BBC documentary Chatsworth follows the Duke, Duchess and Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, giving unprecedented access to the Estate and exploring the dynamics of modern life in a stately home. Pride and Prejudice and The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley, were both filmed at Chatsworth.