Tuesday, 16th May, 2023

Having stayed at Cambridge for 8 nights, it was a bit of a shock to the system to be back living out of a suitcase but it didn't really take very long to pack up and leave our accommodation in Derby (after first having breakfast there).

Our first visit today was supposed to have been Roche Abbey but Satoshi wanted to go to Chatsworth House. When we arrived, we found that we had to pay £32 each (about $64 each!). Oh well, it's only money! It has to be said that it was worth it. Chatsworth House is yet another example of a beautiful country house. We were surprised and happy to find that we were allowed to take photos (which turned out to be around 300 between us). Chatsworth House was built in 1549 and it has been enlarged and altered over the years.

Chatsworth House is very impressive... oh, wait... that photo is only the stables!

This is the House!

The Painted Hall. The painting is by Louis Laguerre between 1687 and 1694. It depicts scenes from the life of Julius Caesar. You can experience a 360° view of this room here.

Caesar is the guy with a star on his head.

A closer view of Caesar

This statue is Egyptian and dates to c.1380BC

The Oak Room

Each of the carvings on the panelling was different.

The Chapel

A statue of "Justice" on the right side of the altar piece above

The ceiling of the Chapel

Set within the altar is an eight foot tall bronze statue of Saint Bartholomew (2006) by the contemporary British artist Damien Hirst. Tradition holds that the  martyr was flayed to death. He holds his skin as well as a scalpel and a pair of scissors. I'm not sure that I would want to be looking at this during a church service but, as there was no ecclesiastical furniture, it seems that the chapel is no longer used for worship.

The Painted Hall from the Great Stairs

There were several of these lamps lighting the staircase.

View of Chatsworth from the East, about 1703 Jan Siberechts (1627- about 1703). This painting shows the view visitors to Chatsworth would have experienced during the time of the 1st Duke of Devonshire.
It gives a full and detailed depiction of the 1st Duke's recently completed house, and terraced garden, with its formal parterres and complex of waterworks. It includes the new Cascade House, all set within the Derwent Valley. It is a rare record in colour of his achievement here. Much of this Baroque garden was to be swept away in the 1700s to be superseded by a more naturalistic one.

The State Apartment

I'm sorry that this photo is a little grainy. It was taken several metres away. This violin is actually a Trompe-l'œil painting, it's not real! The door is part of the painting too.

The State Music Room (the violin above is behind the doorway above)

The State Bedchamber

The State Closet

 A Soap Dish

"A Man in Oriental Costume" by Rembrandt 1639

The South Sketch Gallery

I don't know the details of this painting, I just liked it!

Looking at the chandelier from below.

Looking up from the Oak Stairs

The paintings near the Oak Stairs

The Ante Library

The Library

The Great Dining Room

These robes, worn at the 1937 coronation, were displayed on the Dining Room table!

The Sculpture Gallery

The hand of one of the sculptures - amazingly life-like!

This item in the shop was labelled: "Mr Darcy as played by Matthew Mcfadyen in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Please do not kiss!" It appeared to be made of plastic!

The Cascades

This Cascade was built for the 1st Duke of Devonshire by a French engineer, Grillet, and completed in 1703. Each step is different from the one below and above it, to vary the sound of the falling water. The temple was designed by Thomas Archer. Water can be made to flow over the roof and out of 13 spouts, including the mouths of the stone dolphins, and there are even hidden jets in the floor. The temple and the Cascade were restored between 1994-96. All the waterworks in the garden are gravity-fed, with water piped from man-made lakes 400 feet higher than the house, above the slope behind the garden. Water from the bottom of the Cascade is used twice more on its descent to the river - in the sea horse fountain on the south lawn and a fountain in the private west garden. No water is pumped back up the hill, so in a dry spell we restrict the hours the waterworks play.

Like the cascades, the fountain works by gravity!

As we drove out, there were some more views of the House...

...and the grounds.

There were signs along the drive cautioning that there were lambs on the road. We found out why!! This one had no intention of moving so the cars had to carefully drive around it!

Not all the lambs liked to live dangerously!

Our next stop was Roche Abbey. We arrived four hours later than planned but it was still open.

There's not a whole lot of this abbey left but I really liked it there. It had a feeling of complete peacefulness and serenity.

We were so lucky with the weather. These walls are the only remaining part of the abbey. They are the transepts of the abbey church. If you visit the link above, you will find a description of what happened when the abbey was destroyed. It makes sad reading.

Just a little of the stone vaulting remains.

A local inhabitant watched us warily.

There was a little of the gatehouse left...

...and this last remaining boss.

From the abbey, we headed to Pontefract where we had planned to visit All Saints' Church and the castle. The church includes two structures - the ruins of a 14th century church (destroyed during the Civil War) and a 1960s church which was built inside the ruins. Unfortunately, the church as not open but we did get some photos.

Sadly, the castle was not open either (to be fair, it was after 5:30pm when we got there)

We then made our way to our accommodation in York as we were too late for Evensong at York Minster.

We were not too late to enjoy dinner at the nearby Toby Carvery!!

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