It is widely believed that Pemberley from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was based on Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. The architecture, landscaping and vistas are simply breathtaking and as the House is approached it’s easy to see why this could be Pemberley:
“They gradually ascended for half a mile, and then found themselves at the top of a considerable eminence, where the wood ceased, and the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of a valley, into which the road with some abruptness wound. It was a large, handsome, stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills;—and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal, nor falsely adorned. Elizabeth was delighted. She had never seen a place where nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste. They were all of them warm in her admiration; and at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!” Jane Austen (1813)
The original house dates to the 16th Century and the gardens the landscaping designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown. On this occasion we didn’t tour the house but concentrated on the gardens and landscapes. Chatsworth manages to blend both grand and informal design beautifully and throughout the gardens there are various sculptures which I believe only enhance the space. I’m not sure what Capability Brown would have made of the sculptured hares… but I loved them!
Chatsworth has a lovely gift shop partly set in the old stables which is filled with unusual gifts and books. We bought a Christmas reindeer (nicer than it sounds) a rustic heart (because a girl can never have too many hearts in the home) and lots of pretty ribbon. It’s always nice to bring home ideas so this trip was no different!
1. Plant some box hedging and keep it clipped.
2. Buy a sculpture for the garden (it doesn’t have to be a hare!).
3. Continue with the house renovations (Chatsworth was probably built in less time than it will take us to renovate!!).
4. Read Pride & Prejudice again (and again, and again…).
5. Get my own Mr Darcy to help me with some digging this weekend to put the garden to bed!