Edensor Chatsworth Estate village
Edensor is a unique small estate village (pronounced ‘Enzer’) with buildings in ornate Swiss, Italian and Norman style within the grounds of Chatsworth House.
Edensor grew up as a collection of cottages for Chatsworth estate workers, and for many years it sprawled over flat land to the west of the house. But in the 1760s Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was brought in to create a natural-looking park. The fourth Duke of Devonshire, having spent considerable money improving the House, redesigning the gardens and building a grand new bridge over the river, decided to take down those houses visible from the House. He pulled down the old stables and offices, altered the course of the river and demolished some of the cottages to give an uninterrupted view of his new park. Tenants were re-housed in the nearby estate villages of Pilsley and Beeley.
One house and garden on the East side of the road, still remains. Some say it is believed to have been spared because the tenant, an elderly man, did not want to move and the duke in an act of kindness allowed him to stay. Don’t think this has ever been verified though.
Joseph Paxton, who remodelled and landscaped the gardens at Chatsworth, chose the site for the new village, but it was John Robertson a relatively unknown architect from Derby who provided the designs. At that time aspiring young architects such as Robertson would prepare a book of house plans as part of their training.
It is thought that Robertson approached the Duke to show him the plans when he was busy with other matters and that after quickly looking through them he could not make up his mind and chose all the different styles in the book.
Robertson retained the 14th century church, but only about 30 years after the completion of the model village it was replaced by a much larger one built by George Gilbert Scott.