Home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Chatsworth House is a stately home for royalty in North Derbyshire, England. The home has served as the seat of the Cavendish family ever since Bess of Hardwick settled into the area in 1549. Surrounded by wooded, rocky hills and filled with priceless paintings, drawings, sculptures, and furniture, the estate is one of the largest and most elegant anywhere in the world. It has been selected as the United Kingdom’s favorite country home several times.
The estate is also home to gardens so beautiful and expansive that visitors to the site often tour the grounds and never think twice about entering the massive home. The gardens alone, which cover about 105 acres and are surrounded by a wall nearly two miles long. attract about 300,000 visitors every year. Though enormous by any measure, the gardens look even bigger than they are as, over six centuries of modifications, they’re been formed to look as though they blend into the surrounding park, which covers an additional 1,000 acres. The staff of Chatsworth house includes 20 full-time gardeners.
In addition to the formal gardens, the grounds of Chatsworth House hold stables that once served as the home for about 80 horses (today, it’s used for catering events and houses several of the estate’s employees); and a large hunting tower. The estate’s grounds are so large - 35,000 acres - that they hold about 450 homes and flats that house tenanted farmers and others.
Chatsworth House and its surrounding estates were used for several scenes shot for the 2006 version of Pride & Prejudice, starring Kiera Knightley and Matthew MacFayden. It was the main location used for Mr. Darcy’s estate and holds several familiar views, such as the beautiful fountain seen at the end of the movie, the black and white marble floors, and several of the statues viewed by Elizabeth Bennet.
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- Wikipedia: Chatsworth House: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatsworth_House
- Peak District Information: Chatsworth House and Park: http://www.peakdistrictinformation.com/visits/chatsworth.php
- The Daily Mail: "Charming Chatsworth: Derbyshire's Grand Dame of a Stately Home Shines Forth After a Glamorous ... Overhaul" (March 2010): http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-1256027/Chatsworth-House-Derbyshire-reopens-15m-facelift.html