Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Getting lost in Chatsworth's gardens

The gardens are why I would have liked to have had an entire day to spend just at Chatsworth. After touring the house we went exploring and we walked & walked & walked and didn't come close to seeing all of the gardens. It was AMAZING.
It was raining/misting lightly but it was nice after how hot London & Windsor had been. Plus there was hardly anyone else there and it made for some great photos.

Chatsworth has it's own orangery. A place to keep valuable plants during the winter. All of the "fashionable" houses had one.

Up the hill from the house is this fountain. It has 24 steps, each one slightly different in height and texture from the other, which results in a slightly different sound from each step as the water falls. It was originally built in the 1600's.

At the top (why of course we walked up to the top!) is the cascade house. It actually turns into a fountain itself. Apparently one of the Duke's was quite the jokester as inside the house there are holes in the floor, water can be turned on to spout water from them and suprise unknowing guests.

My attempt at being artsy. The view down from the cascade house was worth the walk up.
I have to mention how all of the fountains are able to spray water. Up on the hill a man-made pond was built to act as a resevoir. All of the fountains are gravity fed from that pond. It creates enough pressure to send water shooting into the air. Quite the engineering feat considering when it was built.

On to the Japanese garden.

Around every corner was something different, where will this lead us to?

A gorgeous patch of lupines in full bloom and a hedge maze. What stately property would be complete without a maze! (I did make it to the middle of the maze and it took me considerably longer than I thought it would!)

A view of the "Grotto Pond" from the Grotto itself. This used to be a fish pond that supplied the table of Chatsworth with fish.

These hedges must go back to almost Georgiana's time.

Another pond, this one more man-made but still beautiful. There was a family of ducks swimming around, what a perfect home for them!

Statues were everywhere throughout the gardens as well. I'm sure no expense was spared when the gardens were built.

Another view of the house from the canal pond.

This is the "Canal Pond". The fountains in the pond were quite spectacular but unfortunately it was nearing closing time and they had shut off the water.

Walking through the gardens it was amazing to think of how old the gardens were and who walked through them. A note, many of the original gardens were re-done by Lancelot (Capability) Brown, a famous landscape architech of the time. His signature was natural looking parks in comparison to the formal english gardens.

We did see a lot but in fact, we missed a lot as well. We never made it inside the orangery or the greenhouses, we missed the hunting tower, carriage house, kitchen garden and Queen Mary's Bower (Did you know that Queen Mary was held prisoner at Chatsworth for a time?). There's probably more too if a person were to explore. Chatsworth is definitely on my list of places to visit again.

By this time we were practically running back to the entrance to meet our taxi driver, whom we worried would leave if we didn't get there on time. We were sad to have to leave Chatsworth.

Our plan was to go to a small pub in a nearby town for dinner. The taxi driver thought we were nuts for wanting to go "so far" just for dinner. It was only about 10 miles. When we told him how far we travelled for work each day at home, he was shocked! But it was getting late and we decided we would instead eat dinner in Bakewell.
We had "Ploughman's lunch" for dinner, which consists of cold cuts, bread, cheese and some vegetables. It was good and filling after all the walking we had done. And for dessert we had "Bakewell Pudding". It's like a baked custard tart with raspberry jam. Really good! (I attempted to make one when we got home and it just wasn't the same.)

No comments:

Post a Comment