The World According to Tiff Sniff

Meandering ponderings and wonderings on the state of things.


Last Thursday, we spent the day at Chatsworth, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. This is one of the largest and most beautiful homes in England, and I highly recommend spending the better part of a day there, if you're close.

This is also the house on which Jane Austen presumably based Pemberly, home of the unpredictable Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. The newest movie version of the story, which opens here in a couple of weeks, was partly filmed there.

We arrived in late morning, as it is a little bit of a drive from Loughborough. We got our tickets, and toured the house first. I'll be honest with you here. I was kind of bored. Chatsworth is breathtaking, that's true, and unbelievably opulent. But I'd been to Chatsworth before, and I've also toured Buckingham Palace, Windsor Palace, Holyrood Palace, Blenheim Palace, Powerscourt (where they filmed "The Count of Monte Cristo", if you care), etc. After a while, they all look the same. The two best parts of the house, for me, were (1) the bust of Matthew McFadyen used in the movie and (2) the stage theatre in the attic, complete with box seats.

The real attraction is the grounds. (And the cafeteria - I highly recommend the cottage pie.) Chatsworth has extensive formal and informal gardens around it, in a variety of styles. After a most satisfying lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the grounds. I wish you could have been there with us, to see how much fun we had. There are numerous sculptures and fountains, a rock garden, a coal tunnel open to the public, a hedge maze, ponds and exotic plants and miles of tended paths on which to see it all. There are also sheep, as Lara was happy to see. She spent a happy while chasing them with her knitting needles. When we were done seeing what there was to be seen, a couple of us went back to the cafeteria to end the day with a proper Devonshire tea, complete with clotted cream. Then it was back on the minibus and back to church.

That night was our last in Loughborough. We got fish and chips for dinner. So yummy. Kinsey was fussing about this and that, and finally Sheryl asked her what was really bothering her. She answered, in quite a tired voice, poor thing, that she wanted to go to her house and sit in her chair. Her parents gently explained that we were going to spend a couple of days more doing fun things, and then we would go back to Nashville. To which she answered, "No, I mean my England house." I want an England house, too.

The young adults came over to the building again, and we played Nerts and Mafia until, once again, Mark had to round us up and herd us out of the building. A lot of sad goodbyes were said that night, but the great news is, we were invited back for next year! That was a great feeling. Back at Angie's, we packed up and got to bed as early as we could - Friday began early, but ended in London. More later!

Okay, I have lots of fun pictures, but can't get them to upload today, for some reason. So instead, here is a link to all of my Chatsworth pictures, complete with (somewhat) explanatory captions!

1 Responses to “Chatsworth”

  1. # Blogger Jennifer Thompson

    "After a while, they all look the same."

    Amen to that. I found the same was true of Church of England cathedrals/abbeys, except for Westminster and St Paul's. We saw 'em in Chester, Winchester, Salisbury, Bath, Oxford, Cambridge, etc., and to this day the only things that differentiate them in my head are a) Jane Austen was buried in Winchester and b) my camera quit working in Salisbury, thanks to my roommate dropping it in Bath!

    When does P&P come out here? We should all go.  

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