I am not a big fan of the country house estate. The architecture and landscaping is something to be admired, all that human ingenuity, hard work, and skill, but the privilege that is enjoyed by the owners of these huge estates for some dubious acts way back in history is well out of place in my socialist world.
I started my walk from the Chatsworth car park and climbed through the woodland surrounding the house to gain my first trigpoint. The Hunting Tower is a rather fine trig, possibly one of the best in the country. The door was open and a lady, I doubt it was the Duchess of Devonshire, was preparing a large table with linen and cutlery. Monty soon found the open doorway and went in the introduce himself and to plant his muddy feet all over the clean tiled floor. I hastily followed to get him out as Monty jumped up and pawed the lady’s clean white apron. No sooner had I entered, only to have Olly follow suit and then all four of us did a sort of dervish dance around the table until the boys left and the lady, in remarkably good humour gently closed the door.
Relieved at not being incarcerated in The Hunting Tower we headed over to Birchen Edge and our next trig. Lots of climbing taking place along the edge, young and old all enjoying the sun and the grit stone. I sat and watched a group pick their way up a route, each man showing lesser or greater skills. The triangulation pillar is a fine viewpoint and you can see the delineation of the White and Dark Peak. Large plantations of conifer cover the hillsides and no doubt one day will be felled leaving a denuded hill with the grey skeletal remains of the trees, a sight I have never been pleased with.
Retracing my steps back on to the Chatsworth estate I headed for the final trig of the day, across moorland to a Harland South, which sounds as though it should be a motorway service station. It was one of the GPS triangulation pillars, used to make sure that the GPS system is behaving. Odd that a technology constructed by pencil and paper should be used to verify a high tech all singing all dancing satellite system.
The route back to the car followed quiet country roads, green lanes and then back down through the estate woodlands to regain the car park. The journey through the woods gave a pleasant end to the day and I have Joseph Paxton to thank for that.