Chatsworth looks picture perfect

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Behold, Chatsworth in all its glory...

These stunning photographs of the Peak District’s most illustrious jewel almost bring a lump to your throat, so beautifully do they capture the magnificence of the Devonshires’ stately home and estate.

But these are not the work of some famed landscape photographer. Instead, each and every one was taken by amateurs on their visits to the stately home.

And these are a selection of images chosen as finalists in Chatsworth’s first ever photography contest.

The winning shot - of a statue gazing towards the house in a winter sunset - was chosen from hundreds of entries sent in from all over the UK by judges the Duchess of Devonshire, her son Lord Burlington, who is a highly regarded professional photographer and Derbyshire Life editor Joy Hales.

Chosen as the winner of the adult category for its “dreamlike” quality, it was taken by Sheffield-born Lisa Green, a novice photographer aged 24 who has been a regular visitor to Chatsworth since she was five.

Lisa, who now lives in Peterborough, said: “Chatsworth is my favourite place in Derbyshire so when I saw the competition I had to try to enter a photograph.

“I’ve always wanted to take up photography. I’d visited Chatsworth with my parents in the summer and took some pictures on my mobile phone.

“My boyfriend is a camera operator and noticed I had an eye for a good picture. He helped me to buy my own camera and taught me how to use it. Without him I don’t know if I would have been able to enter the competition.

“Now I hope to turn my hobby into a full-time job.”

James Kenmore, aged 12, of Worksop, was the winner of the under-16s category with his picture of Chatsworth House and its vast landscape under a huge, cloud-scudded sky.

In her letter to James, the Duchess praised him for “an excellent image which captured the grandeur of the house against the backdrop of the park and fantastic cloud formations”.

Prizes included Canon photography equipment from Harrison Cameras in Sheffield, and Gold Family Friends membership to Chatsworth.

The house, its gardens and estate are the work of several generations of the Cavendish family, whose fortunes were founded by the legendary Bess of Hardwick.

The 10 shortlisted images will be displayed in The Stables at Chatsworth from Saturday February 19.