If you turn to face the low wall, you should be able to see one of the sides of Chatsworth house peering over the top. The house has gone through many changes since the first house was built on the site by Bess of Hardwick and her second husband William Cavendish in 1549. They bought the manor for a sum of £600 which in today’s money is around £165,000. The construction of the original house began in 1552, but the only surviving and complete structure from this period is the Hunting Lodge on the top of the hill.
Cavendish died 1557, and after another marriage which ended in her husband dying in 1565, Bess married for a fourth and final time to George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury. When he was appointed the custodian of Mary, Queen of Scots by Elizabeth I, between the years 1569 – 1584, Chatsworth also served to keep Mary a prisoner. Her rooms on the east side of the house are still called the Queen of Scots Apartments today, even though the rooms themselves are much changed.