Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Chatsworth House

Following my other Chatsworth posts you might have been wondering when I would take you inside.  Well, today is the day.  Actually that isn't quite true, today and tomorrow will be the days, otherwise it would all be too overwhelming for just one post.

I have photographed many of the details, and I had the very best plans to do lots of reading and information gathering about the house and the objects, but time has got the better of me and it didn't happen.  So instead I will point out a few things here and there and then leave you to just enjoy, which is probably better in any case isn't it!

While we were there in September there was an exhibition of different chairs spread through the house that you could actually sit on and try.  Of course I couldn't get photos of many of them because people were busy sitting in them, but you can see one of them above.  There were three of these I think and all were being used.  When you sit down they spin around because the bottom of the chair goes to a point.  I didn't try this one!

Everywhere the ceilings and walls were either painted or decorated or were covered in paintings.  These photos are from the main staircase and were incredible.

This is the staircase, which we got to walk up!  Very grand indeed.

Above is another of the chairs, these were benches of a sort of plastic material - Lucite I think.  They looked like water, but were very hard to photograph as people were incredible keen to try them out.

These crystals were enormous, they come up to waist height!

This room was all carved, the walls, columns, decoration, everything.  It was incredible!  So much detail and so much skill in the carving.

The room also contained this model of Chatsworth which is also very detailed.

More wonderful ceilings and details.  It is overwhelming actually.  You could visit more than once and still not see everything I am sure.

Above you can see the block that is mentioned below that references quartz - you can see my photo of the crystal above - I didn't get to take a picture of the coal block, but it was very interesting.  The surface was quite matt and was lightly textured, not at all coal like in a way.
I thought that the block you can see above also looked rather like Blue John which is a mineral which is found only in the Peak District - and which I will show you some more of in the next post.
As you can see from the sign, this piece has been acquired by Chatsworth, I noticed that there are several pieces of contemporary art through the house and I think that it is good that new pieces are still being bought.  One of the criticisms I sometimes have of historic places is that they are pickled in aspic at one date, you cannot say that about Chatsworth.

This golden sculpture is by the modern artist Damien Hirst.  It is called Saint Bartholomew, Exquisite Pain.  It was made in 2008 and is cast in gold plated silver, 3 were made.  It is a little gory as it actually depicts St Bartholomew holding his skin.

These are some more details of the staircase taken as we came back to go upstairs.

Another modern art piece.

This piece was incredible, referencing the blue and white porcelain which we are all so familiar with, but totally different.  The pot is very tall - I would guess 7 or 8 feet perhaps - and I really liked it.  It took two pictures to get it all in!

As I said, everywhere, everything was covered in the most beautiful and incredible decoration.

Tomorrow we will see the bedrooms and the rest of the house.  I hope that you enjoyed the tour.  To read more about Chatsworth see here.


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Lyme Park

Lyme Park is a very beautiful house indeed.  You might know it from the Pride and Prejudice television series that starred Colin Firth as Mr Darcy.  Especially when he was climbing out of the lake...  We will come to that in a minute though.

The house was built in the 16th Century, with changes being made in the 1720's.  It was gifted to the National Trust in the 1940's by the Legh family. 

First of all a little tour around the outside of the magnificent house.

You know that I always love to keep an eye out for pineapples...


Inside we go!

There are so many incredible details in this house, carvings, woodwork, ceilings and wonderful chandeliers.


This carving - above - is the work of the incredibly famous Grinling Gibbons.

Many of the rooms have wonderful clocks in them, and there is an exhibition of clocks which we will see in a moment.

Sometimes I am asked why I take so many pictures of ceilings.  It is because they are usually very beautiful, decorative, tell the story of a place, and, most importantly, don't have people stood in the way of them!

This fireplace is incredible isn't it.  I have never seen anything like it.  I would love a fire like this.

More wonderful Gibbons carving.

These decanters are hanging in the butlers pantry on this special rack to dry them.  It is very ingenious isn't it.

The bedrooms were just as good as the main show rooms downstairs.  This bedspread/cover made in crewel work is beautiful isn't it.

When we were coming down these stairs I suddenly had a funny turn as I was sure that I had dreamt of them or been down then before.  I am certain though that I have never been to Lyme Park before.  Very odd indeed!!!!!

This is the clock exhibition that I mentioned earlier.  I really liked the way that they were displayed so that you could see the front and back and where possible the inner workings of the clocks.  It made it very interesting indeed.

Then we moved on to the gardens and this beautiful green house.

The fountain is beautiful isn't it.  You can tell that it is very old by all of the moss growing on it!

Outside again we took a walk around the gardens.

This is the famous lake!  Quite unimposing when you see it in real life.  It shows how different they can make things look on film.  No Mr Darcy climbing out of it all dripping wet either!  Not fair!!

This garden is incredible isn't it, you can only really view it from above, but that certainly gives the best views of all as you can really see the intricate designs.

Well, that is our walk around Lyme Park done for today!  I would recommend a visit if you are ever in the area.  You can find out more information here.


p.s. don't forget to check who you are swapping Christmas cards with and get in touch with your partner.  The details of the swappers can be found here.