The time has almost come for Chatsworth House in Derbyshire to reopen to visitors following the biggest restoration and conservation project the estate has seen.
With an opening date set for 24th March, the house, garden and park will reopen to the general public following a ten-year long programme, costing more than £32m, which will see Chatsworth restored to its full glory.
From rebuilding the Belvedere turrets to replacing vast tracts of lead on the roof; carving the tiniest details in stone using dentistry tools to replacing huge blocks in the walls; careful restoration of priceless artworks to the renovation of famous water features in the garden; over the last decade Chatsworth has been fully restored and made ready for the next century.
Special exhibition reveals all
A major exhibition, running between March and October this year and called Chatsworth Renewed, will highlight the work of those involved in the restoration process. Visitors will be able to hear the stories of the skilled people involved in the project, understand the challenges they met, and appreciate the quality of their work.
Traditional skills have been used throughout the restoration for both urgent repairs and to make Chatsworth ready for the future. The restoration of stonework, wood panelling, tapestries, flooring and other structures has revealed much about generations following the arrival of the Cavendish family in 1549, as well as how far the skills of masons, joiners, plumbers and weavers have changed, or remained, over centuries.
Groups visiting before the end of the exhibition will get to see lots of this first hand, and learn about the many people who have been involved in the project.
New routes and an additional gallery
Remodelling of the house has included the creation of new visitor routes and improved access. A new area, the North Sketch gallery, has been made from older, little used rooms. In here, group will get to see a number of handmade ceramic panels plus other contemporary ceramic works,
Groups at Chatsworth
Group rates and package are available at Chatsworth all year round, as are guided tours and talk.
For more information and to make a booking, visit www.chatsworth.org.