Monday, 31 March 2014

Chatsworth in Wartime

A wide range of objects, including letters from the front line, photos, uniforms and paintings will reveal life on the Chatsworth estate during both World Wars. 

An Oscar Wilde book found by the Marques
of Hartington in his dugout at Gallipoli.
It was floating in water and shows signs of this.

The Derbyshire Yeomanry held camps and
trained in Chatsworth Park in the 1900s and
1910s. After the outbreak of the First World War,
they were billeted on the estate. Many of the men
enjoyed staying in the area
. Some held a
cross country race through the Park.
They also appear to have been popular with local girls.
The exhibition will tell the stories of those who fought on the front line from the Somme to Gallipoli, including members of the Devonshire family; the house staff and estate workers and the contribution made by women through involvement with the Red Cross, the Women's Land Army and the WW2 'Dig for Victory' campaign. 

Life on the home front during the First World War is examined along with the impact of the war effort on the estate. In the garden, staff will be dressed as Land Girls while the Orangery border and Cottage Garden will be planted with vegetables as would have been done in WW1 and WW2.

During the Second World War, Chatsworth housed a girls' boarding school, Penrhos College, whose own building had been taken over by the Ministry of Food.  The State Drawing Room will be recreated as a dormitory, complete with beds and the original wardrobe, stored at Chatsworth since the girls moved out in March 1946. A group of alumni from the school are due to be among the first to view the exhibition following an invitation from the Duke of Devonshire.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Jacob van der Beugel exhibition at Chatsworth

Duke and Duchess of Devonshire
viewing the North Sketch Sequence

In a groundbreaking fusion of art and architecture, portrayals of the DNA of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and their heirs have become part of the fabric of the building at their ancestral family home, Chatsworth.

The walls of the North Sketch Gallery have been completely covered with textured, handmade ceramic panels in ‘The North Sketch Sequence’ by the artist Jacob van der Beugel. Raised ceramic blocks represent the DNA strand of ‘Everyman’ in the central portrait, which is flanked by the personal DNA profiles of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, their son Lord Burlington and his wife, Lady Burlington. This permanent contemporary ceramic installation in the North Sketch Gallery is the most important art installation at Chatsworth since the creation of the 6th Duke of Devonshire’s Sculpture Gallery in 1832.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Chatsworth in Wartime: 4 April – 23 December 2014

This exhibition marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War.

It uncovers the human cost of offensives such as Gallipoli and what life was like on the Chatsworth estate during two world wars.

Summer movie magic is back at Burghley House… and it’s an even bigger blockbuster for 2014

Where better to have ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ or enjoy a spot of ‘Dirty Dancing’ than under the stars at England’s greatest Elizabethan house… with an extra dash of Monty Python and a sprinkling of ‘Stardust’.
Burghley Film Festival

Back by popular demand this summer is one of the country’s most beautiful outdoor cinema locations - and in true Hollywood blockbuster style, this year it’s even bigger!

Five nights of fabulous films from Audrey Hepburn classic ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ to the critically acclaimed ‘War Horse’ – along with some retro classics and children’s favourites – will transform Burghley’s picturesque South Gardens into a magical outdoor movie venue.

Not only is there an extra night of movies for 2014 - after the inaugural Film Festival proved such a success last year - but the Big Screen will also be larger, offering visitors to Lincolnshire’s Burghley House an even bigger movie experience.

With the Elizabethan house as the magnificent backdrop, the Big Screen will be back 30 July to 3 August 2014 for five nights and fours days of fabulous films.

From The Great Romantics to Retro Revival Night double bill evening screenings are sure to prove popular while daytime shows include Disney favourites ‘Monsters University’ and ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ as well as smash-hit fantasy movie ‘Stardust’.

Star billing for many will be the classic romantic comedy ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ - which launches the Festival at Burghley – but who can resist turning back the clock to ever-popular iconic 80s movies ‘Dirty Dancing’ and ‘Top Gun’?

For something completely different, and with the Python team re-uniting for a series of live UK performances this summer, Burghley’s Film Festival will also feature two of Monty Python’s greatest movie comedy creations, ‘The Holy Grail’ and ‘Life of Brian’.

Early bird booking also offers a chance to save money – with double bills available at the VERY early bird price of £6 per adult until midnight 29 March, saving £6 a ticket on gate prices. But if you miss that deadline, there are still savings to be made right through until the end of July. Book from 30 March until 30 April and tickets will cost £8 each; from 1 May until 29 July tickets will be £10. On the gate tickets will cost £12 and child tickets are £4, whether in advance or on the day.

Gates open for the daytime sessions at 10.30am and remain open until 4.30pm with daytime film tickets giving access to both screenings during the day. Gates for the evening session open at 5.30pm and tickets for the evening session give access to both evening screenings. Limited numbers of tickets are available for each session.

Nestling on the edge of the Georgian stone town of Stamford, the House and Gardens will also be open every day during the Festival and can be visited on a normal admission ticket.

For full details of all the movies, and to book online tickets, visit or telephone 01780 752451.

The full Film Festival line-up:
Wednesday, 30th July – The Great Romantics: 6.00pm Breakfast at Tiffany’s (PG); The Notebook (12A).
Thursday, 31st July – 11.30am Monsters University (U); 2.15pm Despicable Me 2 (U). Python Night: 6.30pm Monty Python and The Holy Grail (12); 8.15pm Monty Python’s Life of Brian (15).
Friday 1st August – Action and Espionage: 11.30am Incredibles (U); 2.15pm Johnny English (PG); 6.30pm Bourne Identity (12); 8.40pm Argo (15).
Saturday 2nd August – 11.30am Epic (U); 2.15pm Stardust (PG); Retro Revival Night: 6.30pm Dirty Dancing (12); 8.40pm Top Gun (PG).
Sunday 3rd August – ‘Great’ Britain: 11.30am The Little Mermaid (U); 2.15pm Bedknobs and Broomsticks (U); 7.00pm War Horse (PG).

Burghley House is open until Sunday 2 November 2014, daily (except Fridays) from 11am to 5pm (last admission 4.30pm). Admission: House and The Gardens of Surprise - adults £13; children (3–15 years) £6.50; seniors/students £11.80; family (2 adults & 3 children) £35.

Join the Easter Bunny after a spot of Tudor treasure hunting at England's greatest Elizabethan house, Burghley.

Easter egg hunting, riddle-solving in a Tudor trick garden and a feast of regional food at a pop-up market will offer a tasty treat for visitors to England’s greatest Elizabethan house this April.
Enjoy the Easter Trail

Burghley House, nestling on the edge of the Georgian stone town of Stamford in Lincolnshire, provides the spectacular backdrop for the annual Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday (20 April) in the Tudor-inspired Gardens of Surprise… with a spot of riddle-solving thrown in for good measure!

For a pre-Easter treat, Burghley’s Fine Food Market – one of three held at the House every year – will see pop-up market stalls spring up in the cobbled courtyard, where around 30 local suppliers in will be selling regional produce, (12-13 April).

A week before Easter weekend, the free admission Fine Food Market in the Stable Courtyard will offer handmade cheeses, artisan breads, organic vegetables, luxury sweet treats and rare breed meats (open 10am to 4pm on both days). 

The popular Burghley Easter Egg Hunt returns on Sunday 20th April 

and once again takes place in the family-friendly Gardens of Surprise, inspired by a Tudor “trick” garden established by the first Lord Burghley and boasting 32 squirting and bubbling water features.

Follow the treasure hunt around the Gardens and solve the riddle to claim a full size chocolate egg from the Easter Bunny. Parents can also test their Easter knowledge to try and win a family Season Card. All entries will go in to the prize draw for a giant chocolate Easter Bunny. (Open from 11am to 4.30pm). Free with a House and Gardens or Gardens Only ticket.

Visitors over the Easter holidays will also be able to enjoy a wander through the normally closed South Gardens. Usually only viewed from the windows of the State Rooms above, these formal gardens are dominated by the mature oak and lime trees, planted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1844, but also offer a spectacular display of spring flowers.

The South Gardens offer magnificent seasonal displays of narcissi and spring bulbs, and will be open until Monday 21st April 

from 11am to 4pm (last admission 3.30pm). Admission by donation.

For full details of opening times, all events and to book online tickets, visit or telephone 01780 752451.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Old Master Drawings Cabinet 1 July – 7 November – Conflict in Art - Chatsworth

A selection of Old Master Drawings from the Devonshire Collection to complement ‘Chatsworth in Wartime’, this exhibition includes scenes of historic and mythological battles with works by Raphael, Van Dyck and Mantegna’s famous engraving ‘Battle of the Sea-gods’.

The house, garden, farmyard and adventure playground will be open every day from 16 March - 23 December 2014. 

For more information please visit

Friday, 21 March 2014

The National Motor Museum Showcases Land Speed Record Breakers In A Stunning New Display

Four of the National Motor Museum’s iconic Land Speed Record cars, the 350hp and 1,000hp Sunbeams, Golden Arrow and Bluebird CN7, which reflect the success of British record-breakers between the 1920s and 1960s, feature in an inspiring new multi-media display For Britain & For The Hell Of It, opened yesterday (20th March) by Don Wales, grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell.

Bluebird CN7
In opening the display Mr Wales said: “The 116 year history of Land Speed Records has been dominated by the British. The record has been broken 57 times, 26 by a Briton and 8 by a Campbell. My uncle, Donald, broke the Land and Sea record in the same year – a unique double that has never been equalled. British Land Speed Record cars are an important part of our heritage and need to be on show for the public to see. It is also vital that the skills required to keep them going is kept alive.”

British drivers, engineers, mechanics and cars have broken the World Land Speed Record more times than any other nationality. Their story is brought to life in a moving audio-visual presentation, accompanied by items from the museum’s Collections, on public display for the first time. Exhibits include contemporary souvenirs and memorabilia, trophies and personal items belonging to the drivers. The display transports you back to a time of invention, courage and patriotism and also introduces you to those who are keeping Britain’s record breaking dream alive today.

In the 1920s, the 350hp Sunbeam – a new kind of car for a new era – was the first powered by an aero engine. Its drivers too, were men of the age – Kenelm Lee Guinness, who took the record in 1922, and Capt. Malcolm Campbell who, having remodelled the car several times, flew through the record twice, breaking the 150mph barrier in 1925 at Pendine Sands, Wales. In the dawn of a golden age of speed, the Brits had truly arrived.

Don Wales with 350hp Sunbeam
As the 1920s accelerated, so did the speed and the 1,000hp Sunbeam really made the Twenties roar. At the wheel, sandwiched between the front and rear engines, Major Henry Segrave cruised through 200mph at Daytona Beach, Florida - the first person ever to travel at that speed on land.

In 1929 the iconic blend of style and engineering in the Irving Napier Special, Golden Arrow, with its distinctive engine shape, paved the way for two decades of unbroken British success. At 231.446mph, with Segrave again in the driving seat, this arrow shattered its target.

In 1964, a new Campbell – Donald – son of Malcolm, set the record in Bluebird CN7. A first record attempt at Bonneville in 1960 met with disaster when Bluebird, caught by a gust of wind, veered off course and somersaulted. With Bluebird re-built and a tailfin added for stability, his last attempt on the record, at Lake Eyre, Australia, propelled a triumphant Campbell through the elusive 400 to claim the official wheel-driven record for Britain at 403.10mph.

An unofficial record of 407mph set by Craig Breedlove in a jet powered car the previous year was against International rules. However, Breedlove’s faster jet-car run had proved that the old rules would have to be rewritten. It was the end of a glorious era for the Campbells, Bluebird cars and for Britain.

1,000hp Sunbeam, Golden Arrow, 350hp Sunbeam
While, over succeeding decades, new records have continued to be set, a reviving interest in electric, steam and alternative fuel records has been growing. Accompanying the Land Speed Record display, the museum’s new exhibition of alternative Land Speed vehicles includes the nitromethane fuelled Commuter Dragster, the very first All American fuel Dragster to be built and run in Britain and the first to break the magic 200mph barrier over the standing start quarter mile. Also displayed are the Bluebird Electric, in which Don Wales set a new speed record for an electric car of 137.15mph at Pendine Sands in 2000 and the British Steam Car Inspiration – the fastest ‘kettle’ in the world – in which he achieved 139.843mph at Edwards Air Force base, California, in 2009.

Speaking on behalf of his father, Lord Montagu, the Hon Ralph Montagu said: “It is very fitting that we are opening the display this year as 2014 celebrates the 85th anniversary of Henry Segrave setting a new world Land Speed Record in Golden Arrow in 1929. And fifty years ago, in 1964, Donald Campbell achieved over 400mph in Bluebird CN7 at Lake Eyre.”

The Land Speed Record display and exhibition is now open and can be seen as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction, which includes the National Motor Museum, World of Top Gear, Beaulieu Abbey, Palace House and gardens.

Visit for more information or join the conversation with @Beaulieu_Hants on Twitter using #landspeed.

Michael Craig-Martin at Chatsworth: 16 March – 29 June 2014.

Michael Craig-Martin will be the featured artist at Chatsworth in a rare exhibition devoted entirely to his recent work as a sculptor.
High Heel (pink) day by Michael Craig-Martin

The exhibition will comprise twelve large-scale sculptures, six of which will be unveiled for the first time, placed in the historic gardens and landscape at Chatsworth.

Each work is an immense line drawing in space fabricated in steel and painted in a vibrant hue.  Commonplace objects - an umbrella, a high heel shoe, a wheelbarrow - are dramatically enlarged and positioned to actively engage with their landscape setting.

How The First World War Affected An Historic Family, A Village And A Canine Companion Who Returned Alone From The Front To Holkham

Arthur Coke
When Holkham opens the doors to its 2014 exhibition it will lift the curtain on many poignant memories of the First World War, including one member of the Coke family whose faithful canine companion sadly returned alone from the front to live out his days on the historic north Norfolk estate.

Arthur Coke, grandfather of the present Earl of Leicester, spent his early service days in the Royal Navy before moving to the Horse Guards and seeing action in Flanders in the first Battle of Ypres which lasted for three months in 1914.

The exhibition will feature some poignant extracts from letters that Arthur wrote at the front and which take the reader from the build up to war, his reaction to war once action starts and his very early realisation that the war in Europe was set to be a static war in the trenches. At the end of 1914 Arthur wanted to see more action and was able to transfer to the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Armoured Cars.

Jack The Dog's grave
Four months later the Armoured Cars were in Lemnos, a Greek island in the northern Aegean Sea.  The island was used by the allies as a base to try to capture the Dardanelles Straits. With the cars waiting for action, Arthur volunteered to help man the S S River Clyde which was the first troopship to put men ashore at ‘V’ beach on the Gallipoli peninsula. He was put in charge of five machine guns in the bows.  Battle commenced and was to last for some 13 hours but despite heavy losses the beach landing held. Arthur described this action as: “The greatest day of my life.” He went on to join the battle for Krithia but was killed on May 2 1915 during a particularly fierce offensive by the Turks.

Throughout his time in Gallipoli, Arthur was accompanied by his faithful dog, Jack - an Airedale Terrier. Following Arthur’s death, Jack was brought back to Holkham by Arthur’s fellow officers.  He lived out his days at Holkham and was buried near the orangery in 1918.

The exhibition will feature details of Arthur’s two brothers, Tom and Roger, who were also involved in the First World War and the impact the war had on the family. Personal letters, archives, books, photographs and artefacts will all be on display and the exhibition will also aim to show the impact of the war for the families of over 90 Holkham men who are mentioned on the Roll of Honour.

Viscount Coke said: “The Great War was supposed to be ‘The war to end all wars’, but as Harry Patch, the last surviving soldier known to have fought in the trenches said: “We have learnt nothing from it.” The making of this exhibition has been fascinating. I knew a fair bit about my great-grandfather Arthur’s service and his ultimate death at Gallipoli, but we have unearthed so much more about his brothers’ involvement in the war and that of many other Holkham men and women. I challenge our visitors not to be moved by it.”

Two special features on display in the courtyard at Holkham will demonstrate the creative talent of students at Norwich University of the Arts. The students will design and build a two-thirds scale profile of a Mark V tank and a replica 20 foot section of a trench representing the Somme battlefield. The trench display will also feature a memorial wall on each side and inside it will feature periscopes, a sniper hole and a selection of graphics.

Sarah Steed, business director at Norwich University of the Arts said: “NUA students Andrew Rhodes and Jason Billman are delighted to have been selected to work on the Holkham project. They hope to use their skills as a fine artist and an illustrator to bring the exhibition vividly to life for the families that visit.”

On August 4 there will also be a special day of reflection to commemorate Britain joining World War 1. Further details of the day will be published on the Holkham website in the coming months.

The 2014 exhibition at Holkham Hall will be open to visitors from April 1 to October 31 on a Sunday, Monday or Thursday between 12 and 4pm and normal hall admission charges will apply.  For further details about visiting Holkham please go to the website