Chatsworth House

Location: Bakewell, Derbyshire

Website: Chatsworth House website

Chatsworth Estate has a rich and varied history spanning over 450 years. Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, it consists of a 17th century Palladian mansion and extensive gardens set in a ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland. Today, the 105 acre garden combines a diverse range of historic and modern features that sit seamlessly alongside each other. Historic features include: the 17th century Cascade, the 195 foot gravity fed Emperor Fountain, and Joseph Paxton’s monolithic Rock Garden (1840s). More recent additions have been a 3 acre Kitchen Garden, the Display Greenhouse, 750m2 of newly created herbaceous borders, and the recently planted Trout Stream area, inspiration for Dan Pearson’s 2015 ‘Best in Show’ Chelsea Garden.  Ongoing developments such as the ‘Beyond the Limits’ sculpture exhibitions, the ‘Art Out Loud’ festival and the recently conceived RHS show in June 2017 help to keep this heritage landscape looking towards the future.

As a trainee, you will work as part of a large established garden team. Your training will be varied, working in the Cutting Garden, Kitchen Garden, Glasshouses and Pleasure grounds on a two weekly rota. You will learn to care for turf, trees, cut flowers, borders and hard landscaping whilst developing an understanding of how large estates open to the public function.

Steve Porter, Head of Gardens & Domain: “Having hosted Professional Gardeners Guild and Historic and Botanic Gardens Bursary Scheme trainees at Chatsworth for many years, it is always a pleasure to see them learn, develop, fit into the team and contribute to the care of the garden.  Many have now become valuable members of the team and are able to share their experience and knowledge with new trainees.”

Placement opportunity: 1 year

Staff numbers: 20 full-time gardeners; 50 volunteers

Ease of access: The closest train station to Chatsworth is Chesterfield. However buses from Chesterfield do not come all the way into to Chatsworth, the closest bus stop is Baslow (2 miles by foot). Baslow (3 miles drive) and Bakewell (5 miles drive) have shops and other amenities.

It is possible to take the train to Sheffield then take a bus from the Sheffield Interchange directly to Chatsworth. Buses run approximately every hour.

Accommodation: The garden is able to offer some on-site rental accommodation for trainees.


Chatsworth House logo


Chatsworth 2016_house reflected in canal pond Chatsworth 2016_kitchen garden lupins Chatsworth 2016_case & wildflower Chatsworth Mortons Pond_compressed Chatsworth Knapweed_compressed Chatsworth Lake & summerhouse_compressed

The Trainee Experience

Discover what life is like for our trainees with case studies and comments from past trainees.

Take a tour