'A hidden gem' - heatwave uncovers 'lost' garden at Chatsworth

The historic Derbyshire garden which is now covered by the South Lawn, is part of a 105-acre garden located in the Peak District National Park. Credit: Chatsworth library

The remnants of a 'lost' 17th garden have been uncovered at Chatsworth house this week, after scorching temperatures revealed the elaborate design.

The historic garden in Derbyshire dates back to 1699, measuring 473 to 227 feet.

It's made up an ornamental arrangement of flower beds and carefully crafted paths which have been hidden from view for almost 300 years.

The design was covered in 1730 and instead replaced with the South Lawn.

But temperatures of up to 40C earlier this week have meant the grass in the new lawn which has shorter roots, burns more quickly, temporarily revealing the intricate designs underneath.

'A glimpse back into the past.'

The garden is part of a 105-acre garden and was originally intended to provide suitable setting for the first Duke of Devonshire's newly completed South Front of the house.

It's been home to the Devonshire family for 16 generations and is located in the Peak District National Park with the house, many of its contents and surrounding landscape leased to the Chatsworth House Trust charity.

Temperatures of up to 40C over the last week have revealed the remnants of an elaborate 17th century garden design at Chatsworth.

'A hidden gem not enjoyed properly for nearly 300 years'

Steve Porter, Head of Gardens and Landscape said:

"We can clearly see the intricate patterns of the historic gardens at the moment.

"The current heatwave is causing us issues elsewhere in the garden but here it has revealed a hidden gem not enjoyed properly for nearly 300 years!"

“We knew it was there but of course it’s normally a green lawn so everything is hidden.

"It is only revealed during periods of extreme heat, so climate change may make that more frequent in the years ahead.

Chatsworth has been home to the Devonshire family for 16 generations.

"It will disappear again when temperatures drop and we get some rain but in the meantime it’s wonderful to get a glimpse back into the past.”

The garden is now undergoing its biggest transformation for nearly 200 years with major changes to the Rock Garden and the creation of a new 15-acre area called Arcadia.