THE wraps came off a new-look Chatsworth House this week as the Duke of Devonshire unveiled the restored and regilded exterior of his home.
The year-long cleaning and conservation project is the latest stage in the £14m Masterplan.
As the scaffolding came down in time for the start of the new visitor season, the Duke said: “It’s quite exciting for us, we’ve got a new house. It’s rather shiny and covered with gold and we’re really proud of it.”
He revealed that 2011 was a record year for Chatsworth, with 722,000 visitors plus those attending the country fair or horse trials. And they were gearing up for even more in 2012.
Highlights of the new season include a new gallery which will display Old Master drawings, including work by Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci, from the Chatsworth collection.
In contrast, there is also a new exhibition of modern British masterpieces, many unseen in public for decades.
Internationally-known collectors Frank and Cherryl Cohen are putting on their first public exhibition, featuring the work of more than 40 contemporary artists.
The artworks continue outside with 15 sculptures by Sir Anthony Caro on display around the Canal Pond.
There are also new attractions in the Farmyard, including a new rope swing (currently under construction) and a complimentary nail bar in honour of Mothers’ Day this Sunday.
For more details see www.chatsworth.org