Chatsworth Revisited

Peregrine Andrew Morny Cavendish, 12th Duke of Devonshire, has gone balls-out and produced a rocking new look for boring old Chatsworth House.

Gone – at long last! – are the tedious hallmarks of historic architecture: the dull classic lines, the so-what stonework, the petit-bourgeois proportions, the yawningly predictable so-called grace and elegance.

Before: boring

Instead, the Duke (who wishes henceforth to be referred to exclusively as ‘Perry C’ or ‘Snoop Morny Cav’) has ditched the deeply hackneyed movements of Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Neo-classical to usher in a brand new age – of PVC.

This magnificently rebellious gesture, two polyvinyl chloride fingers in the face of heritage and privilege, makes the Duke the Banksy of the country house, the Johnny Rotten of the aristocracy, the Fonz of fornicating with your first cousins.

After: rocking

We were lucky enough to gain an exclusive interview with the crack scaffolding team responsible for transforming the so-so stately pile into a 21st century architectural icon – Nosh, Tosh, Slasher, Beano, Timbo, Jimbo, Rambo and Graham.

“What I find”, said Beano, nimbly hurling a rolled up Daily Star into the front of the Transit, “is that the gentle breezes coming in from the rolling Derbyshire countryside ripple across the panels creating an ever-changing, if you will, monochrome Mondrian effect.”

Rambo, pausing only to hawk a reflective gobbet into a nearby 18th century jardinière, nodded. “S’right,” he said.

The men stared reflectively at their masterwork. “Doing up a Wetherspoons down Derby next week,” said Graham. “That’s the thing with this game. Always new horizons.”

A triumph. A masterpiece. An icon. A classic. I can say with hand on-heart that the 220-mile round trip I undertook to see the new-look Chatsworth was well worth it.

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