Chatsworth officially reopens today, the 24th of March, 2018 after a decade-long restoration and conservation program amounting to almost £33m.
The Chatsworth Renewed exhibition, running between March and October, highlights the work of those involved in the restoration process. From rebuilding the Belvedere turrets to replacing vast tracts of lead on the roof; carving the tiniest details in stone using dentistry tools to replacing huge blocks in the walls; careful restoration of priceless artworks to the renovation of famous water features in the garden; over the last decade Chatsworth has been fully restored and made ready for the next century.
The Duke of Devonshire: “The level of forensic research, expertise and craftsmanship applied by so many people has been absolutely inspiring. It has always been a thrilling moment to see the house come into view as you drive across the park and now that view has been made even more magical. With the years of blackened grime now removed from the stone, it looks truly magnificent.”
In 1981, the charitable Chatsworth House Trust was set up by the 11th Duke to ensure the long-term survival of the house and collection. Since 1949 the entrance money paid by more than 25 million visitors has made a vital contribution to the maintenance of the house and garden and it is this income, rather than any public funding, that has enabled the current restoration works to be completed.
Chatsworth has featured in a range of films and TV programmes including The Wolfman, Pride and Prejudice, The Duchess and Death Comes to Pemberley.
If you are unable to visit Chatsworth, you can view the series of videos, Treasures from Chatsworth, produced by Sotheby’s.
Extraordinary house and furnishings . I was fortunate to be there on an Opening Day in March in the early 80s when the sluices from the massive reservoir on the upland behind Chatsworth were opened and the cascade of water started to fall down the impressive stepped hillside , filling all the fountains, and then powering the water spout. Everyone present cheered and clapped . All constructed before 1840 I believe . Amazing .
I remember visiting Chatsworth when we lived in England in the early 90s. An unbelievable house and grounds. I remember reading that in the early 60s the estate workshop produced all new sash windows for the house from oak grown on the estate.