Belle Skinner Journal Wednesday, August 24, 1887
Wednesday, Aug. 24
We left Buxton this morning, and after a short car ride reached Bakewell. From the station there we took a carriage and drove first to Haddon Hall, the ancient seat of the Dukes of Rutland. It is a grand old building still in a good state of preservation, though it has not been occupied for more than two hundred years. The banqueting hall was the plainest room of all. Its only decoration being antlers at intervals around the minstrels gallery. The table was a rough pine board, and the seats plain benches—no backs, or course. We saw the ball room and the door through which Dorothy Vernon escaped to elope with Sir John Manners. The terraces in the grounds are magnificent. There are some good specimens of ancient tapestry in a few rooms, and Dorothy Vernon’s bridge is very picturesque. From Haddon Hall we drove over a lovely country road to Chatsworth, the Duke
Of Devonshire’s seat. It is a most magnificent palace. The grounds are superb, filled with cattle, deer, and game. In front of the palace is a small lake. We were shown a good part of the house. The furnishings everywhere are gorgeous. Especially so in the drawing-rooms and state bed-rooms. The Chapel is a little pine-filled with carving by Grinling Gibbons. The Duke leads prayers here every morning when he is home. The sketch gallery is very large, and all the sketches are originals by famous artists. The art gallery and statues too, are very fine. The conservatory is very extensive. We went partly through the gardens which are beautiful beyond description. But we could not see the weeping willow tree or cascade on account of the scarcity of water here in England. Altogether Chatsworth is by far the most gorgeously beautiful place we have visited, and we are all in love with it. Queen
and I don’t think it would be half bad to be invited to spend a season with the Duke of Devonshire there. From Chatsworth we drove a short distance to a little country church in the grave yard of which is Lord Cavendish’s tomb—just a plain slab, entirely without ornament. From here we drove back to the Bakewell station and then took the cars for Coventry arriving at our hotel, the King’s Head, early in the evening.