Queen Mary's Bower

Queen Mary's Bower, Chatsworth


Queen Mary (Mary Queen of Scot's),was held prisoner at Chatsworth for a time (May to September 1569), whilst there she was permitted the indulgence of air and exercise. The bower became one of her favourite spots, and is shown to this day on maps of Chatsworth as "Queen Mary's Bower". I believe that in the time of Queen Mary's imprisonment this truly was a bower, being surrounded by woodland with a view onto a piece of open water. Now alas nearly all of the trees are gone.

Queen Mary's Bower Frontage

Queen Mary's Bower: Now and Then
Queen Mary's Bower Historic Drawing


Getting There:

Using the road bridge cross the River Derwent towards Chatsworth House. once on the other side of the river the bower is immediately visible on the left. Follow the path along the river bank to gate in the fence (this saves having to deal with a cattle grid). On approach to the bower the view is of an impressive set of stone steps. At the top of the steps is a large terrace; the gate to which is usually open for public access during daylight hours.

To return to the walk pass back through the gate and cross the river via the road bridge.

  Burns, in his "Lament of Mary, Queen of Scots," wrote:-  

  "Oh, soon to me may summer suns

        Nae mair light up the morn!

   Nae mair to me the autumn winds

         Wave o'er the yellow corn!

   And in the narrow house of death,

         Let winter round me rave;

   And the next flowers that deck the spring,

         Bloom on my peaceful grave."

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