The Chatsworth House Trust

The Chatsworth House Trust is completely independent of the National Trust, English Heritage or any other public body.

We estimate that more than one million people enjoy Chatsworth and the Park every year…all admission income goes toward the upkeep of Chatsworth.

The 35,000 acre Chatsworth estate in and around Derbyshire is owned by the Trustees of the Chatsworth Settlement, on behalf of the Cavendish family. However, to try and ensure the long term survival of Chatsworth and to protect it from foreseeable taxation, the 11th Duke of Devonshire initiated the idea of a new Trust to take over the responsibility for running the part of the estate that is seen and enjoyed by visitors.

In 1981 the Duke, his family and the family trustees granted a 99 year lease at a rent of £1 per annum of Chatsworth House, its essential contents, the garden, park (including the farmyard) and some woods (a total of 1822 acres) to a new charitable foundation, the Chatsworth House Trust, with the object of ensuring the “long term preservation of Chatsworth for the benefit of the public.”

The upkeep is now the responsibility of a Council of Management, which has a majority of non-family members as Directors, but the Duke and Duchess are involved in all aspects of the management and future development of the Estate. – The Duke and his family pay a full market rent to live in their quarters and are responsible for their private staff.

The Trust is supported by a large endowment fund which was created from the sale of works of art from the private side of the house and from other family resources, and the income from this goes towards the running cost of the house.

Currently the total annual expenditure of the Chatsworth House Trust is approximately £4 million. Approximately 80% of this is met by income from the visiting public, the remainder coming from the other resources of the Trust.

In the last decade, up to £½ million has been spent annually on restoration and special jobs over and above the general running costs. This has included finishing the complete renewal of the house and stables roofs, major restoration work on the Cascade and other garden structures, the completion of a 15 year programme to clean all the painted walls and ceilings in the house, textile conservation and renewal, furniture and picture conservation, asbestos removal and bug control.

-The Directors of the Trust have never applied for a grant for the restoration of the buildings in their care, relying entirely on the income from visitors and the other resources of the Trust.

Chatsworth House Trust is a registered charity No 511149.

In 2003, Chatsworth House Trust joined the Gift Aid scheme. Visitors who are UK taxpayers can give a donation equivalent to the admission charge instead of paying. Through Gift Aid, the Chatsworth House Trust can recover from the Inland Revenue 28p for every £1 given by tax paying visitors, and use it to maintain Chatsworth for future generations.