Listed Building record MDR4151 - Queen Mary's Bower, Chatsworth Park, Chatsworth

Type and Period (4)

  • ? (Tudor to Elizabethan - 1500 AD to 1599 AD)
  • (Tudor to Elizabethan - 1500 AD to 1599 AD)
  • (Tudor to Elizabethan - 1500 AD to 1599 AD)
  • ? (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

[SK 2576 7032] QUEEN MARY'S BOWER. [G.T.] (1) A low stone tower or platform surrounded by a moat and aproached by steps which form a bridge. It may have served as a 16th cent. shooting stand. It has no certain connection with the Queen of Scots. (2) Authority 2 and published siting (1/2500) correct. There are no indications of an earlier work, or of an adjacent for. The published name is in current use; 25" survey revised. (3) Possibly used by Mary Queen of Scots during her period of captivity at Chatsworth in 1570, 1573, 1577, 1578 and 1581. It encloses an ancient earthwork. It is a low square tower reached by steps which form a bridge over the moat, the only remnant of the several large ponds which filled the area NW of the house until the mid 17th century. (4-5) A grade II* raised garden with moat known as Queen Mary's Bower and said to be on the site of an ancient earthwork. It dates to the 16th century, and was restored in the early 19th century by Wyatville. It is built of coursed squared sandstone and ashlar, and is square in plan. It has featureless walls enclosing a raised garden. The parapet has a moulded stringcourse at its base and a second stringcourse above. The parapet is broken at intervals by a decorative balustrade. There is a low semi-circular projection on two sides. To the south is a massive flight of stone steps over a segmental-pointed arched bridge. These have stepped parapet walls and lead up to a three-sided entrance feature with blind round-arches to the west and east, and a plain flat-arched entrance to the north. There is a shield above, and a moulded stringcourse. The whole structure is surrounded by a quatrefoil moat with low coped retaining wall. It is reported to have been built for Mary Queen of Scots to take the air during her periods of captivity at Chatsworth in the 1570s. The Gardens and Park are included on the Gardens Register at Grade I. (6) Photographic record. (7) This area of the park was originally within an elaborate complex of ponds that formed a vast water garden below the Elizabethan house at Chatsworth. Queen Mary's Bower was an important element of this landscape, functioning as a viewing mound and fishing platform. Subsequent landscaping in the 18th century infilled most of the ponds, but the Bower remained surrounded by a rectangular pond. Further restoration and adaptation of the landscape occurred in the 1820s, when the architect Jeffry Wyatville was engaged at Chatsworth. He proposed a remodelling of Queen Mary's Bower, which appears not to have been implemented, although repairs to the stonework were undertaken and the pond was reduced in size to an oval shape. (8)

Sources/Archives (9)

  • --- Unpublished document: Jessop, O (Jessop Consultancy). 2014. Chatsworth River Corridor, Bakewell, Derbyshire: Appraisal Of Archaeology.
  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1955. 6".
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: M.H.L.G. 1898/11/A. July 1963, 14..
  • <3> Personal Observation: F1 FRH 30-NOV-65.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Firth, J B. 1905. Highways and Byways in Derbyshire. p. 287.
  • <5> Index: NDAT. NDAT 0664. 0664.
  • <6> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. NHLE no: 1334745.
  • <7> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Slide Collection. 3703.1.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Jessop, O. 2013. Queen Mary's Bower Mound, Chatsworth: Watching Brief Report. HER Doc. No. 1520, p. 5.



Grid reference Centred SK 2575 7031 (53m by 41m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (3)

  • EDR5176
  • EDR5150
  • EDR1505

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Jan 6 2021 4:20PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.