Chatsworth House - Stables


The stable block at Chatsworth is prominently situated on the rising ground to the north-east of the house. Its entrance gate features four Doric columns with rusticated banding, a pediment containing a huge carving of the family coat of arms, two life-size stags in embellished with real antlers, and a clock tower topped by a cupola. The building was designed by James Paine for the 4th Duke and was built in around 1760. It is approximately 190 feet (60 m) square and is two storeys tall. There are low towers in the corners in addition to the one over the entrance gate. The stables originally had stalls for 80 horses, and all necessary equine facilities including a blacksmiths shop. The first floor was occupied by granaries and accommodation for the many stable staff. According to the Dowager Duchess in her book, Chatsworth: The House, one room still has "Third Postillion" painted on the door. The 6th Duke added a carriage house behind the stables in the 1830s.

The last horses left the stables in 1939 and the building was then used as a store and garage. The grooms' accommodation was converted into flats for Chatsworth employees and pensioners and their families. When the house reopened to the public after the war, "catering" was limited to an outdoor tap, which has since been relabelled "water for dogs". In 1975 a tea bar was established with an investment of £120. The first attempt at a café opened in 1979. It seated 90 in some old horse stalls in the stables and was not satisfactory; either to the customers or from a commercial point of view. In 1987 the Duke and Duchess's private chef, a Frenchman named Jean-Pierre Béraud who was also a leading light in the success of the Chatsworth Farm Shop and Chatsworth Foods, took charge of the catering. After a failed attempt to obtain planning permission for a new building incorporating the old ice house in the park, a 250-seat restaurant was created in the carriage house. The nineteenth-century coach used by the Dowager Duchess and the late Duke at the Queen's Coronation is on display there. Other facilities include Jean-Pierre's Bar, which also serves food, a shop that complements the main shop in the house, and three rooms that may be hired for private events. The stables cater for thirty thousand people a month during the visitor season.

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Famous quotes containing the word stables:

    The story is told of a man who, seeing one of the thoroughbred stables for the first time, suddenly removed his hat and said in awed tones, “My Lord! The cathedral of the horse.”
    —For the State of Kentucky, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)

    Go anywhere in England where there are natural, wholesome, contented, and really nice English people; and what do you always find? That the stables are the real centre of the household.
    George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)

    A man shall perhaps rush by and trample down plants as high as his head, and cannot be said to know that they exist, though he may have cut many tons of them, littered his stables with them, and fed them to his cattle for years. Yet, if he ever favorably attends to them, he may be overcome by their beauty.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)