About the show
Welcome to Duchess – the podcast in which the Duchess of Rutland explores the historic homes of Great Britain, and meets the inspiring women who lead them today. Have you ever watched Bridgerton, The Crown or Downton Abbey and wondered what it’s really like to be a Duchess? If so, this is the podcast for you. Stately homes are manors, palaces, and castles of great historic significance. They were built by the finest architects, adorned with the finest treasures and surrounded by breathtaking landscapes. They were homes to the most powerful families, their wealth and social pedigree shaped the world we live in today. Emma Rutland grew up far away from the world of the aristocracy, but her life changed forever when she married her husband – the 11th Duke of Rutland – and moved into Belvoir Castle. At once Emma became both a Duchess and custodian of one of Britain’s most important buildings. The Duchess wanted to learn more about this world, these homes, and the other inspiring women who, just like her, work tirelessly to ensure they see tomorrow. In this podcast the Duchess will travel to breathtaking homes, learn the epic tales of their construction, meet the historic figures that walked their halls, hear chilling ghost stories and the heartbreaking tales of romance. All of this whilst getting to know the inspiring, powerful women that work to find the delicate balance between preservation and transformation. Join Emma on a very special journey. This is Duchess, the podcast.
On this very special bonus episode, the Countess of Derby sits down with architectural historian Dr John Martin Robinson FSA to discuss the architecture of Knowsley Hall. In the episode, Lady Derby learns how the Stanley rebuilt their family seat after Lathom House was destroyed, and Dr Robinson explains the significant and unique architectural facets of the house, and Lady Derby reveals how she and her husband brought Knowsley back to life.
About Knowsley Hall:
Knowsley Hall began life as a medieval hunting lodge in the 12th century, but the earliest part of today’s building dates from about 1500. The hall has been progressively added to over the years and now is a structure boasting a Georgian façade and Jacobean, Baroque and Victorian interiors. The house was significantly rebuilt in the early 18th century by the 10th Earl, and was enlarged again by the Victorian Earls of Derby. Knowsley Hall has over 100 rooms, 20 bedrooms, and two libraries. The State Dining Room, with its 50ft-high ceiling, can seat 50 people at one long table. The parkland alone stretches to 2,500 acres, within of the 12,000 acre estate in Northern England. Shakespeare’s first company of actors – Lord Strange’s Men – performed in the hall under the patronage of the, the 5th Earl. The performance-loving 6th Earl continued the family’s patronage of Shakespeare; ’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was probably first performed at his wedding to Elizabeth de Vere in front of Queen Elizabeth I at Greenwich Palace. Edward Lear, who popularised the limerick poetic form, wrote his nonsense poems in the hall for the grandchildren of the 12th Earl. Today the hall is home to the 19th Earl and Countess of Derby and their family. Under Lord & Lady Derby’s custodianship, Knowsley has enjoyed a renaissance as a centre of learning & community, welcoming people from across the globe.
About the Host:
The Countess of Derby was born Caroline Emma Neville in 1963, the daughter of Robin Neville, 10th Baron Braybrooke, of the House of Neville, and Robin Helen Brockhoff. Having studied History of Art, Lady Derby previously worked as assistant to the Curator of the Queen’s Pictures, at Windsor Castle. In 1994 she married Edward Stanley, the 19th Earl of Derby, with whom she has three children. Lady Derby competes in dressage, currently holding the title of National Music Champion at Prix St Georges level. As custodian of Knowsley Hall, Lady Derby has overseen a vast restoration of both the hall and it’s collection, which has furthered her interest in art and history. Lady Derby also works with a collection of local organisations and charities in her local area.
Book your private stay today: https://knowsley.com/privatestays/
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