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- The 'Palace of the Peak' contains one of Europe's finest private collections of treasures, displayed in more than 30 rooms, from the grandeur of the 1st Duke's painted hall and state apartments with their rich decoration and painted ceilings, to the 19th century library, great dining room and sculpture gallery. Throughout the house, there are magnificent displays of paintings, including work by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Freud, furniture, silver, tapestries and porcelain and a gallery of neo-classical sculptures. Famous curiosities include four royal thrones, a giant ancient Greek marble foot, a lace cravat carved from wood, the fan of a Rolls Royce jet engine and the unique illusionistic painting of a violin hanging on a door in. In 2003 as well as the special exhibition devoted to the life and work of Joseph Paxton, there will also be a display of photographs of great 20th century British artists, by Jorge Lewinski. The 105 acre garden is beautiful in all seasons. As well as the maze, rose, cottage and kitchen gardens, there are five miles of walks with rare trees, shrubs, fountains and ponds. Water pours down the steps of the 1st Duke’s cascade and shoots from the branches of the willow tree fountain (‘the squirting tree’). This year we celebrate the bicentenary of Joseph Paxton, one of the most dynamic figures of the 19th century, head gardener at Chatsworth for more than thirty years and creator of the giant rock garden, the Emperor fountain and famous glasshouses. There is also new access to an excavated coal tunnel. The latest addition to the garden is a beautiful sensory garden designed to stimulate and delight the senses. The 100 acre park on the banks of the river Derwent is open free throughout the year.