Christmas at Chatsworth House: see inside the stunning Derbyshire residence


December 19, 2020 – 15:51 GMT From ruin to riches: the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire’s Chatsworth House

How stunning in Chatsworth House at Christmas? Ahead of Channel 4’s new show Christmas at Chatsworth House, we take a look at the stunning Derbyshire residence, as well as the property’s late, great owner, Deborah Mitford, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, who passed away aged 94 in 2014.

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Known to her friends as Debo, the Dowager Duchess was the last of the Mitford sisters, who both fascinated, and occasionally scandalised, British society in the 1940s. Deborah was also known as the “housewife duchess”, and her noted business acumen made Chatsworth House one of the most successful and profitable stately homes in England.

Deborah moved to the stately home of Chatsworth, set in 35,000 acres of sprawling countryside in the Peak District, after marrying Andrew Cavendish, who became the 11th Duke of Devonshire. She quickly proved to have a shrewd business mind, transforming the house from ruin into a leading tourist attraction – last year Chatsworth attracted more than 600,000 visitors.

The Duchess oversaw the restoration of paintings and furniture to the state rooms. She created a farm shop that sold produce from the estate, as well as seeing the addition of a cafe, restaurant and gift shop, and set about opening up the charming historical house to the public.

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