Chatsworth Estate has been owned and managed by the Cavendish family since 1549.
The first Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish, embarked upon building the magnificent baroque house in 1686.В Today it is one of Britain’s most popular tourist destinations receiving up to 30,000 visitors a month during the summer season.
Paul Cottrell, Catering Operations Manager, contacted Breezefree to discuss their unique circumstances. What was originally the stable block has been converted so that the courtyard within is surrounded on three sides by restaurants and, on the fourth, a shop. Whilst this area provides a perfect opportunity for alfresco dining it comes with it’s own set of problems when attempting to create shelter for our customers, Paul explained. Being a listed building nothing can be fixed to the ground or the buildings. Everything we do here has to be in keeping with the surroundings whilst remaining practical. We had used parasols a couple of years before, but they proved unable to withstand the strong winds that can blow through the courtyard. We can suffer pretty high wind speeds in bad weather, and the construction of the stable block leads to any wind being funnelled through the side entrance, creating a vortex capable of lifting items from the courtyard.
Breezefree visited Chatsworth House, surveyed the stable block to check prevailing wind directions and suggested a range of solutions, using heavy-duty parasols on portable bases.В The project team submitted drawings showing the best use of space and a photo montage giving an artist’s impression of the finished job.В Once the layout and particular sizes had been agreed, Breezefree erected a movable, giant umbrella in the courtyard to demonstrate ease of use and to give the Chatsworth team a real feel for how the area would look. By this stage Breezefree were also proposing a solution for the Farm Shop Restaurant, located a couple of miles away in Pilsley. The courtyard parasols were delivered and installed in August 2008, the work taking a single day, but completed in separate stages, to reduce disruption to customers. Breezefree used May parasols, made in Germany because of their strength and ease of use.В Six metre by four metre parasols were used in the Stable Block and four metre square at the farm shop, the larger parasols are tested to resist wind speeds of up to 38 mph or Force 7, the smaller to Gale Force 8.В To counter any possible gusting, Breezefree fitted additional reinforcing to the parasol arms and supplied the portable bases with 380Kg concrete blocks hidden by a wooden surround that, after a suggestion from Andre Birkett, the farm shop manager, Breezefree converted into serving stations for cutlery and condiments. Commenting on the success, Paul Cottrell confirmed, All the staff are happy with the quality and look, and how easy the patio parasols can be put up and down each day.