Standing on the east bank of the River Derwent, Chatsworth looks across to the low hills that divide the Derwent and Wye valleys. The house is set in expansive parkland, and backed by wooded, rocky hills rising to heather moorland. Chatsworth's garden is one of the most famous in England. The house contains a unique collection of priceless paintings, furniture, Old Master drawings, neoclassical sculpture, books and other artefacts. Chatsworth has been selected as the United Kingdom's favourite country house several times.
Many more structures stand in Chatsworth's grounds: There are two surviving Elizabethan buildings, the Hunting Tower and Queen Mary's Bower. Flora's Temple and the 1st Duke's Greenhouse survive from the 1690s. The Stable block and bridge were built by James Paine in the 1760s. Joseph Paxton's Conservative Wall and other glasshouses date from the C19th. The 11th Duke and Duchess added the Display Greenhouse in 1970.
Sir William and Bess began to build their new house in 1553. They selected a site near the river, which was controlled by digging a series of reservoirs which doubled as fish ponds. The house was on the same site as the present main block and had the same quadrangle layout, approximately 170 feet (52 m) from north to south and 190 feet (58 m) from east to west, with a large central courtyard. The front entrance was on the west front, which was embellished with four towers or turrets, and the great hall in the medieval tradition was on the east side of the courtyard, where the Painted Hall remains the focus of the house to this day. Sir William died in 1557, but Bess finished the house in the 1560s and lived there with her fourth husband, George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury. In 1568 Shrewsbury was entrusted with the custody of Mary, Queen of Scots, and brought his prisoner to Chatsworth several times from 1570 onwards. She lodged in the apartment now known as the Queen of Scots rooms, on the top floor above the great hall, facing onto the inner courtyard. Bess died in 1608 and Chatsworth passed to her second son William Cavendish, who was created 1st Earl of Devonshire in 1618.
The south and east fronts were built under the direction of William Talman and were complete by 1696. The 1st Duke's Chatsworth was a key building in the development of English Baroque architecture. According to the architectural historian Sir John Summerson, "It inaugurates an artistic revolution which is the counterpart of the political revolution in which the Earl was so prominent a leader." The design of the south front was revolutionary for an English house, with no attics or hipped roof, but instead two main storeys supported by a rusticated basement. The facade is dramatic and sculptural with ionic columns and a heavy entablature and balustrade. The existing heavy and angular stone stairs from the first floor down to the garden are a C19th replacement of an elegant curved double staircase. The east front is the quietest of the four on the main block. Like the south front it is unusual in that it has an even number of bays and no centrepiece. The emphasis is placed on the end bays, each highlighted by double pairs of pilasters, of which the inner pairs project outwards.
The west and north fronts may have been the work of Thomas Archer, possibly in collaboration with the Duke himself. The west front has nine wide bays with a central pediment supported by four columns and pilasters to the other bays. Due to the slope of the site this front is taller than the south front. It is deceptively large; many other nine bay three storey facades are little more than half as wide and tall. The west front is very lively with much carved stonework, and the window frames are highlighted with gold leaf which catches the setting sun. The north front was the last to be built. It presented a challenge, as the north end of the west front projected nine feet (3 metres) further than the north end of the east front. This problem was overcome by building a slightly curved facade to distract the eye. The north front was altered in the nineteenth century when the long north wing was attached to the north-east corner of the house. The attic windows on this side are the only ones visible on the exterior of the house and are set into the main facade, rather than into a visible roof. Those in the curved section were originally oval, but are now rectangular like those in the end sections.
The facades to the central courtyard were also rebuilt by the 1st Duke. The courtyard was larger then than it is now, as there were no corridors on the western side and the northern and southern sides only had enclosed galleries on the first floor (second floor in American English) with open galleries below. In the 19th century new accommodation was built on these three sides on all three levels. The only surviving baroque facade is that on the eastern side, where five bays of the original seven remain, and are largely as built. There are carved trophies by Samuel Watson, a Derbyshire craftsman who did much work at Chatsworth in stone, marble and wood, at first-floor level, and very large pedimented windows at second floor level.
In 1811 the 6th Duke inherited the title and eight major estates: Chatsworth, Hardwick Hall, Devonshire House, Chiswick House, Lismore Castle and Bolton Abbey, which he retained; Burlington House, a second London mansion, was sold to a cousin within a few years; and Londesborough Hall in Yorkshire, which he eventually sold to reduce his debts. These estates covered 200,000 acres (809 km²) of land in England and Ireland.
The 6th Duke wrote that he was tempted to demolish the state apartment, which occupied space in a prime south-facing position, to make way for new best bedrooms. The 1st Duke's State Apartment was by this time seen as gloomy and dull. At around the same time, Queen Victoria decided that Hampton Court, with its state apartments in the same style, was uninhabitable). However, sensitive to his family's heritage, he left the rooms largely untouched, making additions rather than change the existing spaces of the house.
The 6th Duke employed architect Jeffry Wyatville to modernise Chatsworth, meeting C19th standards of comfort and suiting a less formal lifestyle than that of the 1st Duke's time. This demanded more corridors around the edges of the courtyard, so that rooms could be easily reached from indoors, and more shared living rooms to replace individual guest apartments. The Oak Stairs were built at the northern end of the Painted Hall to improve internal communications. The Duke was a great book collector and had the long gallery converted into a library with an elegant white decor embellished with green malachite columns. He soon found that he needed more shelf space, had the room stripped bare and installed a new interior with bookcases covering nearly all of the walls and a wooden gallery for access to the higher shelves. Changes to the main baroque interiors were restricted to details such as stamped leather hangings on the walls of the State Music Room and State Bedroom, and a wider and shallower, but less elegant staircase in the Painted Hall, which was itself later replaced.
In the 1st Duke's house the most important service rooms were in the main block, including the kitchen, which was where the north entrance hall (which is the one on the public route) is now, extending into the floor above. There was also a straggle of service buildings to the north of the house, which was replaced with an unassuming neoclassical service wing in the second half of the 18th century. The Bachelor Duke and Wyatville built a new North Wing, doubling the size of the house. Most of this wing has two storeys, compared to the three of the main block's. It is attached to the north-east corner of the house near the library, and is around 400 feet (120 m) long. On the first floor, facing west, were two sets of bachelor bedrooms called California and The Birds. The entire ground floor was occupied by service rooms, including a kitchen, servants' hall, laundry, butler and housekeeper's rooms, and many others.
The main rooms in the new wing face east. The link to the main house is a small library called the Dome Room. The first room beyond this is a Dining Room, with a music gallery in the serving lobby where the Duke's musicians played. Next is the Sculpture Gallery, the largest room in the house, and then the Orangery. At the end of the North Wing is the North or Belvedere Tower. This contains a plunge bath and Chatsworth's private Theatre. Above the Theatre is the belvedere itself, an open viewing platform below the roof. The Duke built a gatehouse at this end of the house with three gates. The central and largest gate led to the North Entrance, then the main entrance to the house. This is now the entrance used by visitors. The north gate led to the service courtyard, and the matching south gate led to the original front door in the west front, which was relegated to secondary status in the Bachelor Duke's time, but is now the family's private entrance once again.
The work was carried out in an Italianate style which blends in smoothly with the more elaborate finish of the baroque house. The Duke had a passion for marble, and used it repeatedly to embellish the new interiors. There is a Latin transcription over the fireplace in the painted hall which reads in translation, "William Spencer, Duke of Devonshire, inherited this most beautiful house from his father in the year 1811, which had been begun in the year of English liberty 1688, and completed it in the year of his bereavement 1840". 1688 was the year of the Glorious Revolution, supported by the Whig dynasties including the Cavendishes. The year 1840 saw the death of the Duke's beloved niece Blanche, who was married to his heir, the future 7th Duke. In 1844 he published a Handbook to Chatsworth and Hardwick.
In October 1832, Princess Victoria (later Queen Victoria) and her mother, the Duchess of Kent, visited Chatsworth. The 6th Duke had another opportunity to welcome Victoria in 1843 when the Queen and Prince Albert returned to be entertained by a large array of illuminated fountains.
Nonetheless, life at Chatsworth continued much as before. The household was run by the comptroller. Domestic staff were still available, probably more so in the country than in the cities. The staff at Chatsworth at this time consisted of a butler, under butler, groom of the chambers, valet and three footmen; the housekeeper, Duchess's maid, eleven housemaids and two sewing women; cook, two kitchen maids, vegetable maid, two or three scullery maids, two stillroom maids and a dairy maid; six laundry maids; and the Duchess's secretary. All of these thirty-eight or thirty-nine people lived in the house. Daily staff included the odd man, upholsterer, scullery-maid, two scrubbing women, laundry porter, steam boiler man, coal man, two porter's lodge attendants, two night firemen, night porter, two window cleaners, and a team of joiners, plumbers and electricians. The clerk of works supervised the maintenance of the house and other properties on the estate. There were also grooms, chauffeurs and gamekeepers. The garden staff was somewhere between the eighty of the 6th Duke's time and the twenty or so of the early 21st century. There was also a librarian, Francis Thompson, who wrote the first book-length account of Chatsworth since the 6th Duke's handbook.
Most of the UK's country houses were put to institutional use during World War II. Some of those which were used as barracks were badly damaged, but the 10th Duke, anticipating that schoolgirls would make better tenants than soldiers, arranged for Chatsworth to be occupied by Penrhos College, a now defunct girls' public school from Colwyn Bay in Wales. The contents of the house were packed away in eleven days and 300 girls and their teachers moved in for a six-year stay. The whole of the house was used, including the state rooms, which were turned into dormitories. The breath of the sleeping girls caused fungus to grow behind some of the pictures. The house was not very comfortable for so many people, with a shortage of hot water, but there were compensations, such as skating on the Canal Pond. The girls grew vegetables in the garden as a contribution to the war effort.
In 1944 Kathleen Kennedy, sister of John F. Kennedy, married William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, the elder son of the 10th Duke of Devonshire. However, he was killed in action in Belgium later in 1944, and she died in a plane crash in 1948.
His younger brother Andrew became the 11th Duke in 1950. He was married to Deborah Mitford, one of the "Mitford girls" and sister to Nancy Mitford, Diana Mitford, Pamela Mitford, Unity Mitford and Jessica Mitford
The modern history of Chatsworth begins in 1950. The family had not yet moved back in after the war, but if it had not been hit by death duties it might eventually have done so without selling assets or being under compulsion to commercialise the estate. The 10th Duke had transferred his assets to his son during his lifetime in the hope of avoiding death duties, but he died a few weeks too early for the lifetime exemption to apply and tax was charged at 80% on the whole estate. The amount due was £7 million. Some of the family's advisors considered the situation to be irretrievable, and there was a proposal to transfer Chatsworth to the nation as a V&A of the North, but the Duke decided to retain his family's home if he possibly could. He sold tens of thousand of acres of land, transferred Hardwick Hall to the National Trust in lieu of tax, and sold some major works of art from Chatsworth. The family's Sussex house Compton Place was let to a school. The effect of the death duties was mitigated to some extent by the historically low value of art during the post-war years and the increase in land values subsequent to 1950 during the post-war agricultural revival, and on the face of it the losses were considerably less than 80% in terms of physical assets. In Derbyshire 35,000 acres (142 km²) were retained out of eighty-three thousand. The Bolton Abbey estate in Yorkshire and the Lismore Castle estate in Ireland remained in the family. Nonetheless it took seventeen years to complete negotiations with the Inland Revenue, interest being due in the meantime. The Chatsworth Estate is now managed by the Trustees of the Chatsworth Settlement, which was established in 1946.
The 10th Duke was pessimistic about the future of houses like Chatsworth, and made no plans to move back in after the war. After Penrhos College left in 1945 the only people who slept in the house were two housemaids, but over the winter of 1948–49 the house was cleaned and tidied for reopening to the public by two Hungarian women who had been Kathleen Kennedy's cook and housemaid in London and a team of their compatriots. In the mid-1950s, perhaps encouraged by the election and re-election of a Conservative government, which suggested that country houses might not be doomed after all, the new Duke and Duchess began to think about moving back in. The pre-war house had relied entirely on a large staff for its comforts, and lacked modern facilities. The house was rewired, the plumbing and heating was overhauled, and six self-contained staff flats were created to replace the small staff bedrooms and communal servants' hall. Including those in the staff flats, seventeen bathrooms were added to the handful which had existed before. The 6th Duke's cavernous kitchen was abandoned and a new one was created closer to the family dining room. The family rooms were repainted, carpets were brought out of store, and curtains were repaired or replaced. The Duke and Duchess and their three children moved across the park from Edensor House in 1959.
In 1981 the family trustees created a separate charitable trust called the Chatsworth House Trust to preserve the house and its setting. This trust was granted a 99-year lease on the house, its essential contents, the garden, park and some woods, a total of 1,822 acres (7.4 km²), at an annual rent of £1. The family sold some works of art, mainly old master drawings which could not be put on regular display, to raise a multimillion pound endowment fund. The family is represented on the trust council, but there is a majority of non-family members. The family pays a market rent for the use of its private apartments in the house. The cost of running the house and grounds is around £4 million a year.
The Duke died in 2004 and was succeeded by his son Peregrine, the 12th and current Duke. His mother, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire (Deborah Mitford), is very active in promoting the estate and increasing its visitor income. She has been responsible for many additions to the gardens, including the maze, the kitchen and cottage gardens, and several commissions of modern sculpture. She has authored seven books about different aspects of Chatsworth and its estate.
The main family living rooms are on the first floor of the south front. The family dining room is in the south-east corner and has the same dimensions as the State Dining Room directly above. This has been the usual location of the family dining room; the Bachelor Duke's dining room in the north wing took over that role for an interlude of little more than a hundred years. Both Bess of Hardwick's house and the 1st Duke's house had a hierarchy of three dining rooms in this corner, each taller and more lavishly decorated than the one below. On the ground floor was the common parlour (now the breakfast room) which was used by the gentlemen of the household while there still were such people, and later for informal family meals. Above it was the main family dining room, and at the top the Great Chamber, which was reserved for royalty, though the Bachelor Duke wrote that it had never been dined in, that he knew of.
The family's best drawing room, called the yellow drawing room, is next to the dining room and directly underneath the State Drawing Room. The Dowager Duchess has written that the house is so solidly built that the crowds passing above are imperceptible. The trio of reception rooms here is completed by the blue drawing room, which is below the State Music Room. This was created in the 18th century by knocking together the 1st Duke's bedroom and dressing room, and has a door to his private gallery at the upper level of the chapel. It has also served as a billiard room and as school room. Charity events are sometimes held in this part of the house. Both drawing rooms have access to the garden via the South Front's external staircase.
Three corridors called the Tapestry Gallery, the Burlington Corridor and the Book Passage are wrapped around the south, west and north passages at this level, and give access to family bedrooms. There is a sitting room in the north-west corner, one of the few rooms in the house with view in two directions. There are more family bedrooms on the second floor facing west and north. The Scots and Leicester bedrooms in the east wing are still used when there is a large house party, which is the reason why sometimes they are available as a separately charged optional extra in the tour of the house and sometimes they are not. This suite of rooms now contains the 11th Duke's Exhibition. Visitors bypass the first floor on their way down the West Stairs from the state rooms to the Chapel.
The private north stairs lead down to more private rooms on the ground floor of the West Front. In the centre is the West Entrance Hall, which is once again the family entrance. To the right on entering is a passage room known as the mineral room, which leads through to a study. To the left there is a room called the Leather Room, with walls of that material and a great many books: it is one of at least six libraries in the house. The next room is the Duke's Study, which has two windows, many more books and cheerful floral decoration painted for the Bachelor Duke by, in his own words, "three bearded artists in blouses imported from Paris." The corner room on the ground floor is the former little dining room. These rooms are all very high as the ground level in the west wing is lower than that of the Painted Hall and the ground floor corridors around the courtyard. The West Entrance Hall has a set of steps which leads up to the west corridor.
The other family living rooms are in the eastern half of the ground floor of the South Front and can be reached via the Chapel Corridor on the public route or the turret staircase from the dining room. The room in the south-east corner was once the ducal bathroom, until the Bachelor Duke built his new plunge bath in the North Wing, and is now the pantry where the family china is kept. It connects to the modern kitchen, which is under the library and was made out of the steward's room and the linen room. Next to the pantry in the south front are offices.
At the same time as he was rebuilding the house, the 1st Duke created one of the grandest baroque formal gardens in England. It featured numerous parterres cut into the slopes above the house, and many fountains, garden buildings and classical sculptures. The principal surviving features from this time are:
The 4th Duke commissioned Capability Brown to transform the garden in the fashionable naturalistic landscape style of the day. Most of the ponds and parterres were converted to lawns, but as detailed above several important features were spared. A large amount of tree planting was carried out, including a variety of American species specially imported from Philadelphia in 1759. The main aim and merit of this work was the improved integration of the garden and the park. Brown's sloping 5.5 acre (22,000 m²) Salisbury Lawns still form the setting of the Cascade.
In 1826 a twenty-three-year-old named Joseph Paxton, who had been trained at Kew Gardens, was appointed as head gardener at Chatsworth. The 6th Duke had inherited Chatsworth fifteen years earlier and had previously shown little interest in improving Chatsworth's neglected garden, but he soon formed a productive and extravagantly funded partnership with Paxton, who proved to be the most innovative garden designer of his era, and remains the greatest single influence on Chatsworth's garden. Features which survive from this time include:
Paxton was also responsible, along with architect Decimus Burton, for Chatsworth's demolished Great Conservatory, begun in 1836 and completed in 1841, which was the largest glasshouse in the world at the time. It was 277 feet (84 m) long, 123 feet (37 m) wide and 61 feet (19 m) high, and cost £33,099 (more than a farm labourer could have earned in 1,000 years). A carriage drive ran the length of the building between lush tropical vegetation. Contemporaries were astonished by this unprecedented sight. One W. Adam called it "A mountain of glass... an unexampled structure... like a sea of glass when the waves are settling and smoothing down after a storm." The King of Saxony compared it to "A tropical scene with a glass sky." The Great Conservatory was demolished after World War I as all the plants had died as it had not been heated during the war, and the cost of running it was no longer considered acceptable. There was another large glasshouse at Barbrook on the edge of the park which was devoted to the cultivation of the giant Amazon water lily, Victoria amazonica which flowered in captivity there for the first time. This Lily House has also been lost.
The 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Dukes made few changes to the garden. The garden suffered during World War II, but the 11th Duke and his wife the present Dowager Duchess were keen gardeners and oversaw a revival in its fortunes. British gardening personality Alan Titchmarsh wrote in 2003: "Chatsworth's greatest strength is that its owners have refused to let the garden rest on its Victorian laurels. It continues to grow and develop, and that is what makes it one of the best and most vibrant gardens in Britain." Many of the historical features have been restored to an immaculate condition, and unusually for an English country house garden in modern times, numerous important new features have been added. These include:
The last horses left the stables in 1939 and the building was then used as a store and garage. The grooms' accommodation was converted into flats for Chatsworth employees and pensioners and their families. When the house reopened to the public after the war, "catering" was limited to an outdoor tap which has since been relabelled "water for dogs". In 1975 a tea bar was established with an investment of £120. The first attempt at a café opened in 1979. It seated 90 in some old horse stalls in the stables and was not satisfactory; either to the customers or from a commercial point of view. In 1987 the Duke and Duchess's private chef, a Frenchman named Jean-Pierre Béraud who was also a leading light in the success of the Chatsworth Farm Shop and Chatsworth Foods, took charge of the catering. After a failed attempt to obtain planning permission for a new building incorporating the old ice house in the park, a 250-seat restaurant was created in the carriage house. The nineteenth-century coach used by the Dowager Duchess and the late duke at the Queen's Coronation is on display here. Other facilities include Jean-Pierre's Bar which also serves food, a shop which complements the main shop in the house, and three rooms which may be hired for private events. The stables cater for thirty thousand people a month during the visitor season. A partial plan of the building may be seen here
Chatsworth's park covers about 1,000 acres (4 km²) and is open to the public free of charge all year-round, except for the south-east section, known as the Old Park (though it is not the oldest part), which is not open as it is used for breeding by the herds of red and fallow deer. Other farm stock also graze in the park, many of which belong to tenant farmers or smallholders, who use the park for summer grazing. Most of the features of the park can be seen on this aerial photo Bess of Harwick's park was entirely on the eastern side of the river and only extended as far south as the Emperor Fountain and as far north as the cricket ground. She is believed to have used the small, turreted tower on the hill north-east of the house, which is now known as the Hunting Tower, to view the hunting in the park. Seven fish ponds were dug to the north-west of the house, where the large, flat area used for events such as the annual Chatsworth Horse Trials and Angling and Country Fairs is now. The bridge across the river was at the southern end of the park and it crossed to the old village of Edensor, which was by the river in full sight of the house.
Capability Brown did at least as much work in the park as he did in the garden. The open, tree-flecked landscape which is admired today is not natural. Brown straightened the river and there is a network of drainage channels under the grass. The park is fertilised with manure from the in-hand farms and managed to keep in the check the weeds and scrub which would flourish if nature was allowed to take its course. Brown filled in most of Bess's fishponds and extended the park to the west of the river. At the same time James Paine designed the new bridge to the north of the house, which was set at an angle of 40 degrees to command the best view of the West Front of the house. Most of the houses in Edensor were demolished, and the village was rebuilt out of sight of the house. The hedges between the fields on the west bank of the river were grubbed up to create open parkland, and woods were planted on the horizon. These were arranged in triangular clumps so that the screen of trees could be maintained when each planting had to be felled. Brown's plantings reached their peak in the mid-20th century and are gradually being replaced. The 5th Duke had an elegant red-brick inn built at Edensor to accommodate the increasing numbers of well-to-do travellers who were coming to see Chatsworth. It is now the estate office.
In 1823 the Bachelor Duke acquired the Duke of Rutland's land around Baslow to the north of Chatworth in exchange for some land elsewhere. He extended the park around half a mile (800 m) north to its present boundary. He also had the remaining cottages from the old Edensor inside the park demolished apart from the home of one old man who did not wish to move, which still stands in isolation in the park today. The houses in Edensor were rebuilt in picturesque pattern-book styles. In the 1860s the 7th Duke had St Peter's Church in Edensor enlarged by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The church's spire embellishes the views from the house, garden and park, and inside there is a remarkable monument to Bess of Hardwick's sons Henry Cavendish and William, 1st Earl of Devonshire.
On the hills at the eastern side of the park there is a wood called Stand Wood, which is named for Stand Tower, the original name of the Hunting Tower. At the top of Stand Wood there is a plateau covering several square miles with lakes, woods and moorland. There are public paths through the area and Chatsworth offers guided tours with commentary in a 28-seater trailer pulled by a tractor. This area is the source of the water for all the gravity-fed waterworks in the garden. The Swiss Lake feeds the Cascade and the Emperor Lake feeds the Emperor Fountain. The Bachelor Duke had an aqueduct built which water tumbles over on its way to the cascade.
The Dowager Duchess is a keen advocate of rural life, and in 1973 the Chatsworth Farmyard exhibit was opened in the old building yard above the stables. The aim is to explain to people who are unfamiliar with rural life how food is produced. There are milking demonstrations and displays of rare breeds. An adventure playground was added in 1983, and Alan Titchmarsh opened a venue for talks and exhibitions called Oak Barn in 2005. Chatsworth also runs two annual rural-skills weeks during which demonstrations of agricultural and forestry are given to groups of schoolchildren on the estate farms and woods.
The Chatsworth Settlement has a wide range of sources of income in addition to agricultural rents. Several thousand acres of the estate, mostly around Chatsworth and on the Staveley estate, are farmed in hand. A number of properties may be rented as holiday cottages, including the Bess of Hardwick's Hunting Tower in the park. There are several quarries which produce limestone and other minerals.
The 11th Duke and Duchess did not opt for the "theme park" approach to modernising a country estate, but they did throw off the traditional aristocratic reluctance to participate in commerce. The Chatsworth Farm Shop is probably the largest enterprise of its kind in the UK, employing over a hundred people. A 90-seat restaurant opened at the Farm Shop in 2005. From 1999 to 2003 there was also a shop in the exclusive London district of Belgravia, but it was not successful. The Settlement also runs the four shops and the catering operations at Chatsworth, paying a percentage of turnover to the charitable Chatsworth House Trust in lieu of rent. It also runs the Devonshire Arms Hotel and the Devonshire Fell Hotel & Bistro on the Bolton Abbey estate and owns the Cavendish Hotel at Baslow on the edge of Chatsworth Park, which is let to a tenant. The old kitchen garden at Barbrook on the edge of the park is let to the Caravan Club, and a paddock at the southern end of the park where bucks used to be fattened for Chatsworth's table is a tenanted garden centre. In both cases the Settlement receives a percentage of turnover as rent. There is also a line of Chatsworth branded foods, endorsed with the Dowager Duchess's signature, which is available by mail order. The Dowager Duchess has also established Chatsworth Design to exploit intellectual property rights to the Devonshire collections, and a furniture company called Chatsworth Carpenters, but the latter has now been licensed to an American company.
The attitudes of the Dukes regarding wider access rights have changed significantly over the years. Upon his death, in 2004, the Ramblers Association praised the 11th Duke for his enlightened championing of open access ('Right to Roam'), as well as his apologies for the attitude of the 10th Duke, who had restricted access to much estate land. Even during the 11th Duke's tenure, however, disputes arose—when the definitive rights of way were being compiled in the 1960s and 70s, the footpath to the Swiss Cottage (an isolated house by one of the lakes in the woods) was contested, and the matter went to the High Court, making Derbyshire one of the last counties to settle its definitive maps.
Other properties owned by the Dukes of Devonshire, currently or in the past, include:
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