On Monday I was lucky enough to take part in a special Masterplan tour for staff, led by Head of Special Projects, Sean Doxey. Adorned in our hard hats we spent an hour or so on possibly the most thrilling and engaging tour I have had the pleasure of being involved in during my relatively short time at Chatsworth. The view of the estate from the top of the scaffold was a beautiful, but minor diversion, from what was a once in a lifetime chance to get up close to parts of the building. The tour itself was hugely engaging and took in everything from the dolphin fountain and the carved stalactites at the foot of the west front steps, to the soon-to-be gilded balls atop the urns along the west and south fronts of the house. The absolute highlight for me though was to be able to get up close and personal with the carvings on the pediment above the west front as well as with the centurion which stands above. It felt like a real privilege to be able to take part.

For visitors to Chatsworth, you can climb the scaffolding to our special visitors’ viewing platform to see the restoration work up close and enjoy some rarely seen views of Chatsworth. Tours run every day at 2pm and 3pm from the Lion Steps in the garden and cost £2 per person.

Paul Hayes

Front of House Manager

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