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Listed Building: CHATSWORTH HOUSE (1373871)

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Grade I
Authority Historic England
Volume/Map/Item 1260, 6, 82
Date assigned Saturday, September 29, 1951
Date last amended


Country house. South wing 1687-9 by William Talman. East front 1689-91 by Talman, west front 1700-03, north front 1705-7 by Thomas Archer. Alterations and additions 1756-60 by James Paine, mostly replaced by alterations and additions including the north wing 1820-42 by Jeffrey Wyatt, later Sir Jeffrey Wyatville. Baroque and Neo-classical styles. For the First, Fourth and Sixth Dukes of Devonshire. Sandstone ashlar (mostly local) with other stones and marbles used for decoration. Roofs hidden behind parapets. Basically preserving the plan of the previous Elizabethan house, of four ranges around a courtyard, and with a long north east wing with a return range to south and wall enclosing a long entrance courtyard. Three floors, the ground floor treated as a basement due to the fall of the land. North wing of one storey over a basement. South front of twelve bays, 3-6-3 with a rusticated basement and two upper floors of equal height. Advanced end pavilions have giant fluted Ionic pilasters. Full entablature with carving to the frieze of the pavilions and bold inscription CAVENDO TUTUS across the centre. Balustrade added in 1693 and urns in 1701. The basement has segment headed glazing bar sashes and in the centre a double return flight staircase, a replacement of 1837 by Wyatville. The first and second floors have twelve glazing bar sashes in moulded architraves with stepped keyblocks. East front of 1-8-1 bays, continues the rusticated basement, entablature, balustrade and urns. Segment headed sashes to ground floor and glazing bar sashes in keyed moulded architraves, to the two upper floors. The end bays are set back and are flanked by paired giant pilasters. The front was altered by Wyatville in 1823, who removed a row of attic windows and refaced the whole front. West front (originally the entrance front) of 3-3-3 bays. The centre three advanced and pedimented, on four fluted Ionic attached columns. The outer bays have giant fluted Ionic pilasters. Rusticated basement with segment headed glazing bar sashes and a central flat arched entrance with moulded architrave. Two tiers of glazing bar sashes above, in moulded architraves with stepped keyblocks, the centre and upper ones decorated with relief carving. Complete entablature with carved frieze, carving also in the pediment. Balustraded parapet with urns. Garlands around the centre windows. Carving by Nadauld and by Samuel Watson. North front of 3-5-3 bays, the centre five forming a shallow curve, taller than the rest. Rusticated basement, giant fluted Corinthian pilsters to the centre bow, and glazing bar sashes in moulded architraves. The facade was altered by Wyatville whose north wing abuts it. He altered the fenestration of the centre part, removing attic windows and making the pilasters fluted. The internal courtyard has elevations of five and seven bays, mostly in their present form as altered by Wyatville. Plain pilasters with carved trophies by Watson. Top floor windows with alternately triangular and segmental pedimented architraves. Wyatville replaced an open colonnade on the south side. North wing has north elevation of 1-5-5-5-1 bays, followed by the orangery of 2-5-2 bays. Of the first part the middle and end bays are divided by plain pilasters and have solid parapets with urns rather than balustraded parapets. Rusticated basement with segment headed glazing bar sashes and glazing bar sashes in moulded architraves above. The orangery has the five middle bays advanced and divided by plain pilasters. Large casement windows. Balustraded parapet, dated 1827. The wing is terminated by a three by six bay pavilion and belvedere, rising to four storeys. Entablatures between storeys, glazing bar sashes in moulded architraves and the corner bays with plain pilasters. The belvedere has open colonnades on all sides. Lower pavilion beyond. Return range to west with gateways and entrance lodges. Tripartite composition with three round-arched carriageways. The centre flanked by paired Tuscan Doric columns, triglyph frieze, entablature and parapet, partly balustraded. Flanked by glazing bar sashes in moulded architraves and rusticated advanced end bays. Partly balustraded parapet. The central gates are re-set and are late C17 by Jean Tijou. Wall to south enclosing entrance courtyard with statues on pedestals. Interior: North entrance hall converted from a kitchen by James Paine. Tuscan Doric columns with triglyphs. Wyatville replaced the chimneypieces and widened the staircase. North corridor enclosed and altered by Wyatville. The Painted Hall of two storey height. Ceilings and walls painted by Laguerre, assisted by Ricard, in 1694. Stone carvings by Samuel Watson. Staircase 1911-12 by W H Romaine-Walker. The south range commences with private apartments, one room with an early C18 chimneypiece, another with early C19 painted panels in the window reveals. The Oak Room has panelling and twisted columns of c1700, brought from Germany by the Sixth Duke. The chapel in the south west corner is of two storeys, with an east gallery. Cedar panelling with limewood carvings by Samuel Watson. Sumptuous Baroque alabaster reredos designed by Cibber and carved by Watson. Completed in 1694. Walls and ceilings painted by Laguerre. On the west side, the west stairs with iron balustrade of 1702 by John Gardom, with wrought iron panels on the landings by Tijou. Painted ceiling by James Thornhill. West entrance hall with Grisaille painting. Leather Room and Lower Library redecorated in 1839 by Crace. The ground floor of the north wing contains service rooms. First floor has mostly private apartments, taking in the upper half of the chapel and hall, except the north wing. On the south side private dining and drawing rooms, basically early C18 but redone in 1780s by John Carr. The dining room was altered by Wyatville. In the west wing the centre bedroom was originally a vestibule and has late C17 panelling. Other rooms with delicate late C18 plasterwork. Duchess' dressing room ceiling by Joseph Palfreyman, 1775. The Red Velvet Room has a chimneypiece by Kent. On the north side the Library made in 1832 by Wyatville with woodwork and fittings by Armstrong and Siddons. Late C17 ceiling with painting by Verrio. The Ante-Library by Wyatville with ceiling painting by Hayter. To the north the suite of rooms in Wyatville's north wing. Dome Room, the Great Dining Room with segmental arched coffered ceiling and chimneypiece by Westmacott the Younger and Sievier. Sculpture Gallery lit by three lantern skylights. At the north end ormolu capitals to the columns, by Delafontaine of Paris. Bas reliefs by Thorwaldsen and collection of neo-classical sculpture. Second floor contains the state rooms along the south wing. Great Staircase designed by Talman (1689-90). Ceiling by Verrio; statues and doorcases by Cibber, balustrade by Tijou. The state Dining Room, Drawing Room, Music Room and Bedroom fill the south side. They have painted ceilings by Verrio, Laguerre and Ricardi and a profusion of wood carving by the London carvers Lobb, Davis and Young, assisted by Watson. The rooms were decorated in 1689-99, but only the Dining Room survives in its original state. In the centre of the west wing is the Sabine Bedroom, originally a lobby, with uninterrupted illusionist painting over ceiling and walls by Thornhill (1708). In the north wing are smaller family rooms and in the east wing the Queen of Scots Rooms, a suite of rooms redone by Wyatville c1830. The oak stairs between ground and first floor are by Wyatville, 1823-4. At the end of Wyatville's wing is the Theatre, designed in 1833 as a banqueting chamber. The painted ceiling panels of c1700 by Cheron and Thornhill, were originally in the Library. Sources: William, 6th Duke of Devonshire Handbook of Chatsworth & Hardwick, London 1844. J Lees-Milne and J Cornforth Chatsworth. Nine articles in Country Life April-September 1968. Duchess of Devonshire The House: A Portrait of Chatsworth MacMillan 1982. Listing NGR: SK2603070174

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Grid reference SK 26030 70174 (point)
Map sheet SK27SE

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Oct 15 2009 10:32AM

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