Chatsworth BBC Documentary- Episode One

May 16, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Chatsworth House has long been a popular tourist attraction thanks to its wealth of history. The ‘Palace of the Peaks’ boasts over 300 rooms, 62 farms and 35,000 aches with beautiful gardens and a farm yard for visitors to enjoy.

Now the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have opened the doors of the Chatsworth Estate to the BBC for an exclusive look into life at Chatsworth. Filmed for the entire year of 2011 the documentary follows the work of the estate and its 700 members of staff who carefully maintain Chatsworth’s history making it the most popular historical house in Britain.

Duke and Duchess of Deveonshire at Chatsworth

Duke and Duchess of Deveonshire

Episode one (there are three in total) gives an oversight into how Chatsworth is prepared for its opening in March. During the winter months Chatsworth’s staff start to ‘deep clean’ the property and grounds in preparation for guests and everyone gets involved even the Duke and Duchess join in the annual litter pick.

This passionate approach of everyone lending a hand travels through the entire episode which I found incredibly endearing. As Tour guides carefully check dates and details on hand held guide devices whilst housekeepers do a spot of cleaning as they travel the grounds ensuring that everything is just right for Chatsworth 700,000 visitors.  

But I was most impressed by how precisely the display team work. In this episode they set the dining room table, recreating the table as it was set when Queen Victoria visited in 1843. Their attention to detail is second to none and their time and effort makes me appreciate just how true to reality features like these are in historical properties such as Chatsworth.

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House

The documentary has a personal feel as it follows the journey of those who make the estate so excellent. Viewers meet many long serving members of staff including Andre, who runs the Duchess’s farm shop, one of the estates main sources of income and new recruits who are making their own mark on Chatsworth. The show follows Heather, Chatsworth’s first female ‘Head Guide’ who is working hard to lead a team of 60 experienced guide staff and learn more about the history of Chatsworth along the way. 

It’s a programme which I would definitely recommend watching especially if you like visiting stately homes or heritage sites as it gives a brilliant insight into how treasured history is brought to life so that we can enjoy it. Catch up on episode one with BBC’s iPlayer- click here to watch online.

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