If you've seen the film The Duchess you may recognise where we went yesterday. Kedleston Hall, which stood in for Chatsworth in the film. Due to the terrible weather the river was very high and racing along.
In the entrance hall the four massive fireplaces contained crackling fires and it was surprisingly warm. I've often wondered how those mansions fared in cold weather. Basically, if you light big fires all over the show it does the trick.
Here's just a little tour...
The bathroom was put in for a visit by the King in the 1920s, he slept in the rather impressive four poster with the feather dusters on top. I think most people these days would be dismayed to have an ensuite that is so spartan, but it was the height of modernity once upon a time. The tiles are like little pieces of glass.
The disappointing part of the visit for me was that we only went round the impressive showy parts of the house and not any 'downstairs' rooms. I asked a guide about this and he explained that the tour we did was almost exactly the one that would have been offered to visitors in the 18th century. Think Elizabeth Bennett turning up at Mr Darcy's crib and wanting a lookie round. They just showed her the good bits.
The old kitchens and scullery are now the restaurant, which is very good. The blue theme, which is all over the house, continues even in there. It could be considered either classy or a bit too much, the jury's out on that.
There's also a lovely little church that dates back to the 17th century but I'll save that for another post. Good to see even a stately home could do with the windows cleaning.
In fact there are a few interesting little things I've decided to save for other posts. The weather is so bad (hailstoning today) that photo opportunities are few and far between!