Chatsworth House, England


The Painted Hall, Chatsworth House.
1900s
Publisher: A.P. Co (Artistic Publishing Co?), 9 Bury Court, Mary Axe, London

Chatsworth House is a stately home in Derbyshire, England, in the Derbyshire Dales, 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north-east of Bakewell and 9 miles (14 km) west of Chesterfield. The seat of the Duke of Devonshire, it has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549, standing on the east bank of the River Derwent, across from low hills between the Derwent and Wye valleys. The house is set in expansive parkland backed by wooded, rocky hills that rise to heather moorland.

The 4th Earl of Devonshire, who would become the 1st Duke in 1694 for helping to put William of Orange on the English throne, was an advanced Whig and forced to retire to Chatsworth during the reign of King James II. This called for a rebuilding of the house, which began in 1687. Cavendish aimed initially to reconstruct only the south wing with the State Apartments and so decided to retain the Elizabethan courtyard plan, although its layout was becoming increasingly unfashionable. He enjoyed building and reconstructed the East Front, which included the Painted Hall and Long Gallery, followed by the West Front from 1699 to 1702. The North Front was completed in 1707 just before he died.

Wikipedia.

In 1549, at the behest of his wife, Bess of Hardwick, Sir William Cavendish bought the land from the Leche family (relations of Bess’s) for £600. Recent
work for the Chatsworth Master Plan (2005-2018) has uncovered possible traces of this earlier Tudor house in the Baroque building’s northern cellars. William and Bess started construction of their house in 1552, but William did not live to see its completion, as he died in 1557. Although Bess of Hardwick completed the building work, the house was entailed to the eldest son from her marriage to William Cavendish, “my bad son Henry” and she made Hardwick her primary residence in 1590. Henry sold the house to his younger brother William (who became the 1st Earl of Devonshire in 1618). The Elizabethan house was successively rebuilt by the 1st, 4th and 6th Dukes, obtaining its current form with the 6th Duke’s major additions and alterations as designed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville, which were implemented c.1820-1841.

Timeline of the Cavendish amily and some of their major properties” (PDF)


Chatsworth House–Great Hall
c.1910
Publisher: Thomas Taylor & Son
“From Photographs taken by special permission of His Grace the Duke of Devonshire.”

First impressions count. When guests are welcomed to Chatsworth, this is one of the first rooms they see. William, 1st Duke of Devonshire built the Painted Hall between 1689 and 1694, the only original feature is the painted decoration on the walls and ceiling. Whilst still Earl of Devonshire he chose to flatter the monarch by decorating the hall with scenes from the life of Julius Caesar, he was elevated to Duke in the year the room was completed.
Chatsworth House: room cards (PDF)

Read more

Haddon Hall, Bakewell, England


Haddon Hall, Banqeting Hall
Dated on back: 12 July 1920
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co, Reigate

Google Maps

Haddon Hall, the private residence of Lord and Lady Edward Manners, is set in the Peak District in the valley of the River Wye. With nine hundred years of history, it is one of the oldest houses in the country and moreover one of the only houses in England to have remained in one family’s ownership for its entire existence.

Haddon is unique as it remained empty for nearly two hundred years. This extraordinary period, when time stood still in the Hall, allowed it to remain unaltered during the modernising period of the Georgians and Victorians. So venturing into Haddon is like stepping back in time, since from the 1700s the family preferred to live at their main seat, Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire.

The Medieval Banqueting Hall remains furnished with its original Dais table, behind which hangs a tapestry gifted to the family by visiting Henry VIII.
Haddon Hall (official website)

That John Manners’ son was John, the 9th Earl, and was made 1st Duke of Rutland in 1703. He moved to Belvoir Castle, and his heirs used Haddon Hall very little, so it lay almost in its unaltered 16th-century condition, as it had been when it passed in 1567 by marriage to the Manners family. In the 1920s, another John Manners, the 9th Duke of Rutland, realised its importance and began a lifetime of meticulous restoration, with his restoration architect Harold Brakspear. The current medieval and Tudor hall includes small sections of the 11th-century structure, but it mostly comprises additional chambers and ranges added by the successive generations of the Vernon family. Major construction was carried out at various stages between the 13th and the 16th centuries. The banqueting hall (with minstrels’ gallery), kitchens and parlour date from 1370, and the St. Nicholas Chapel was completed in 1427. For generations, whitewash concealed and protected their pre-Reformation frescoes.
Wikipedia.

Speedwell Cavern, Castleton, England


Castleton, The Winnats & Entrance to Speedwell Mine
Postmarked 1916
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co, Reigate

Google Street View.

Winnats Pass is a hill pass and limestone gorge in the Peak District of Derbyshire, England. The name is a corruption of ‘wind gates’ due to the swirling winds through the pass. It lies west of the village of Castleton, in the National Trust’s High Peak Estate and the High Peak borough of Derbyshire. The road winds through a cleft, surrounded by high limestone ridges. At the foot of the pass is the entrance to Speedwell Cavern, a karst cave accessed through a flooded lead mine, and which is a popular tourist attraction.
Wikipedia.

The Speedwell caves are set at the foot of the Winnats Pass, just outside Castleton. Miners began to extract lead from the Speedwell mines in 1771. A group of investors from neighbouring Staffordshire raised 14,000 pounds to launch the mining efforts. They redirected natural underground rivers and used the waterways to carry spoil and ore to the surface.

Despite the huge investment of time and money, the mines proved unsuccessful and no rich veins of ore were discovered. The venture folded in 1790, but even before the mining came to an end, visitors were coming to Castleton to visit the mine and its unusual mode of underground transport. A later visitor was Queen Victoria, who was transported through the underground waterways in a boat navigated by a miner lying on his back, steering the craft with his feet on the ceiling of the adit shaft.
Britain Express

Speedwell Cavern is one of the four show caves in Castleton, Derbyshire, England. The cave system consists of a horizontal lead miners’ adit (a level passageway driven horizontally into the hillside) 200m below ground leading to the cavern itself, a limestone cave. The narrow adit is permanently flooded, so after descending a long staircase, access to the cave is made by boat. At the end of the adit, the cavern opens up with fluorspar veins, stalactites and stalagmites, and the so-called “Bottomless Pit”. This chamber has an underground lake with a 20 metres (66 ft) high waterfall and an extremely deep vertical shaft, now choked to within 20 metres (66 ft) of the surface by rock spoil dumped by miners. The original depth of the shaft has been estimated, from the amount of spoil placed in the shaft over the years, at around 150 metres (490 ft). The mine was developed in the 1770s but the limited lead ore deposits meant that it was not profitable and it was closed down by 1790.
Wikipedia.

Phoenix Tower, Chester, England


King Charles Tower, Chester
Postmarked 1908
On back: “This beautiful set of Fine Art Postcards is supplied free exclusively by Shurey’s Publications comprising “Smart Novels”, “Yes or No” and “Dainty Novels”. The Publications are obtainable through Great Britain, the Colonies and Foreign Countries”

Google Street View.

Phoenix Tower stands at the northeast corner of the city walls in Chester, England. The tower is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. It has also been known as Newton Tower and King Charles’ Tower.The structure probably originated in the 13th century. During the later part of the 16th century the tower was leased to two city guilds, the Painters and Stationers, and the Barbers and Chandlers, who sublet it to other guilds. By 1612 the fabric of the tower was in a poor condition, and the lead had been lost from its roof. It was restored by the two guilds, and above the door they placed a plaque containing the date 1613 and a carving of a phoenix, the emblem of the Painters. In the Civil War, during the Siege of Chester in 1645, the tower had a gun in each storey, and it was damaged in the conflict. A plaque on the tower states that King Charles I stood on the tower on 24 September 1645 as he watched his soldiers being defeated at the Battle of Rowton Heath. The historian Simon Ward has expressed doubts about this and has suggested that the king may have stood instead on a tower of Chester Cathedral, which he considers is confirmed by evidence that a captain standing beside him was killed by a stray shot.

The guilds resumed possession of the tower in 1658, and repaired it. They ceased possession by about 1773, after which the city carried out repairs. However, by 1838, the tower was described as being in a dilapidated condition. By this time, the city was promoting it as a tourist attraction because of its reputed connection with King Charles. In the late 1850s, the lower chamber was being used by a print-seller, and later in the century the tower was made a private museum.
Wikipedia.

The King Charles Tower, otherwise known as the Phoenix Tower, or the Newton Tower, it is one of the impressive towers on the circuit of Chester’s city walls. The tower is of medieval origin and occupies the site of, or is very close close to, the original Roman North East Tower. The tower is a grade I listed building. The present structure probably originated in the thirteenth century. The red sandstone tower stands to a height of around 70 feet (21 metres) and is in four stages, the lower two of which are below the walkway on the wall. Each of the upper stages contains a chamber. At the level of the walkway, in the third stage, is a round-headed doorway.
The Guide to Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire and the Wirral

As late as 1571, Braun’s map of Chester shows that the walls boasted no fewer than seventeen towers. Sadly, a mere handful survive today and of these, the Phoenix Tower is probably the best known. By the mid-17th century, the tower was in a ruinous condition, but was nontheless taken on as the meeting place of two of the city guilds- the Company of Barber Surgeons, Tallow Chandlers and Wanchandlers, the other was that of the Painters, Glaziers, Embroiderers & Stationers- on the understanding that they would put it in good order and subsequently maintain it. Because of the battering it had received during the Civil War siege, the upper parts of the tower had to be largely rebuilt.
. . .
The Phoenix Tower was, in earlier times, generally known as the Newton Tower, that being the name of the suburb overlooked from the wall at this point, and, more notably, later as the King Charles Tower to commemorate the events of September 1645, during the English Civil War, when King Charles I, together with the mayor, Sir Francis Gamul, stood on the roof and witnessed the rout of his army by Parliamentary forces after the Battle of Rowton Moor (or Rowton Heath). The inscription upon the tower states: ‘KING CHARLES STOOD ON THIS TOWER SEPT 24th 1645 AND SAW HIS ARMY DEFEATED ON ROWTON MOOR’. Actually, it would have been impossible to see the field of battle from here- what they probably witnessed was later action on Hoole Heath and fugitives from the fray being pursued and harried through the eastern suburbs.
Chester: A Virtual Stroll Around The Walls