sea and sieve

gold part 1 | chatsworth

Chatsworth House is famous for a number of reasons: tremendous size, notable modern art exhibitions, playing Pemberly in the more recent Pride and Prejudice adaptations. But for me it is notable for one thing – the sheer gorgeous amount of gold that has been thrown at every possible surface. It has gold window frames. This is now my new life ambition.

chatsworth 4

If you know me or have ever seen my nail polish, you’ll know that gold is pretty much my favourite colour (with rusts and bronzes a very close second and forest-and-field greens coming in third). I know that it’s all been about copper and its rose-pink-and-grey tones recently so perhaps gold is a less fashionable penchant to have, but I think it’s sunnier in the summer and richer in the winter and so I will one day paint my windowframes with it anyway. (Not to mention my plans for a star-chamber ceiling.) So Chatsworth was a dream.

me at chatsworth

Chatsworth has been smoothly passed on through the same family for hundreds of years. In the fifteenth century the park at Chatsworth was enclosed and the first house built – this was then sold to William Cavendish  and his wife the fierce Bess of Hardwick (another tease – I will blog about her properly soon). She began to build the new house in 1553, starting it alongside her second husband and finishing it alongside her fourth about ten years later. (They were given the dubious honour of guarding Mary Queen of Scots in the 1570s – and it was at Chatsworth that Bess and Mary embroidered the fascinating Oxburgh Hanging together.)

Not too much of this this sixteenth century history remains – Chatsworth was remade in the classical style at the end of the seventeenth century (by William Cavendish 4th Earl and 1st Duke of Devonshire). After that, the interior was altered and altered with the fashions, but the overall impression is still strongly Baroque – as much of everything as possible.

chatsworth chair

chatsworth chandelier

chatsworth crystal

everyman at chatsworth

this is the installation ‘Everyman’, based on the Devonshire family’s DNA

chatsworth library

chatsworth curtain detail  gates at chatsworth

chatsworth 3

(I seem to have been having a couple of problems with my film camera that day – I think it was a bit over-awed, as was I.)

boar sculpture at chatsworth

chatsworth kitchen garden greenhouse

1st duke's greenhouse at chatsworth

chatsworth lion

It’s all a bit much for this lion and he’s had to take a nap. And who can blame him – the grandiose rooms, the vast parkland peppered with contemporary art, the lush gardens – Chatsworth does not do things by halves, and with a south front like this, why would it.

chatsworth lake


This post is called ‘part 1’ because all of this gilt and gold made me want to share some pictures of my bedroom – can you guess the colour scheme? Although it’s rather more subtle than Chatsworth as I don’t have a dukedom to finance my passion. So that will be my next post.

This entry was published on 27 June 2015 at 12:17 am. It’s filed under old stones and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “gold part 1 | chatsworth

  1. Ok, I’m excited to see your bedroom. In a non-weird way. I love Pride and Prejudice. I have read the book more than anything else, even the Hobbit and Harry Potter, which is a big deal. However, I found the newest film wanting, maybe it was because the characters were a bit too cheeky, and I felt it was all about the romance and not about the other sisters (I mean why was Jane the least attractive one in the film?!). The BBC’s adaptation will always be my favourite. You can’t cram Pride and Prejudice into an hour and a half, it needs a series to be savoured.

    • I totally TOTALLY agree about film vs TV versions – I was desperate to go to Lyme Park (Pemberly for the BBC one) this year but we never made it, partly because I wanted to go in the sun which didn’t show its face in time. I guess in the film version they had to just squeeze and squeeze all the other characters smaller until it was just a romance… but it’s all about the six hour version and all the awkward silences. I watch it every time I have a sick day. V impressed by it being your most read book — especially as mine is indeed Harry Potter — I want to read it again now!
      (Bedroom post is up! I feel quite nervous about it… one’s bedroom is surprisingly personal!)

  2. Pingback: gold part 2 | bedroom tour | sea and sieve


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