It is also the estate featured as Pemberley in the 1995 Andrew Davie's Pride and Prejudice miniseries. This seminal television production shaped 14 year old me in a momentous way.
I fell in love with Jane Austen's world in every possible way. The clothes, their way of speaking, and 'taking a turn about the room'. The romance, the scandal, the complex social customs captured my imagination absolutely.
So, needless to say that finally being able to visit the location of the infamous 'lake scene' sent me quite giddy with excitement.
Coming down to the drive, to have the house suddenly appear from the behind the trees...I may or may not have screamed:
Not to mention that in the sweetest possible way I got my happy ending: I'm finally at Pemberley with my Mr Darcy.
Apart from a small barney with one of the volunteers at the front of the house (I have since sent and received feedback from Chatsworth) who apparently thought I was riff-raff...I had a really wonderful time walking through the house and the gardens.
It's mind boggling the wealth of land and art these people possess. I suppose that's what rich people do over the ages. They collect for posterity.
The interior of the house is magnificent. The Duke and Duchess have gone for a historical representation of their current collection. Apparently they just have heaps of antiques in storage...
This is the smile of a woman whose life is complete...
As this is Matthew MacFayden as Darcy...he was in no danger from me!
We wandered out of the house through the giftshop and into the garden for a quick pasty stop. No photos again...because I was really hungry. Sorry.
I'm not sure is this is the lake...but it's a lake and that's enough for me.
We were delighted to come upon the maze!
But we're still lost.....
Leaf as big as ME!!
After we had made our way out of the grounds, we got back in the car and drove to Sheffield which is where our hotel was. I would've liked to have stayed overnight in the countryside but we had a bus to catch the next morning from Sheffield to London so it needs must.
I would not recommend Sheffield. It's a one-horse sort of town, and populated by some nasty types who give you a side-ways look which sort of makes the hairs on the back of your non-Caucasion neck stand on the end...
However, the hotel we stayed at was cheap and cheerful, the receptionist was a Spanish guy called Francisco who was incredibly friendly so at least there was that.
It was a magical fangirl day. Although Bo and I did leave feeling slightly grossed out by the immense wealth...but it's nice at least that they are opening up the house to share with the public. It's sort of like a living museum. Not sure if I'd come back again but then I've said that before...