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RIP Dowager Duchess of Devonshire

Not often I start this kind of thread, but I would just like to say how sad I was to hear of the passing of The Duchess of Devonshire, today at the age of 94.

I've always admired her for her tireless work in the restoration & running of surely the most beautiful big house in the country.

RIP, dear lady.



  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,705

    I agree. I think she was the driving force in transforming Chatsworth.

    Since the next generation took over, i have grave doubts about some of their Modern Art installations. Far too much Emporers new clothes for me.  The installation by the long lakes  2 years ago, looked like a pile of scrap metal, and totally ruined the classic view.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • My wife and I would have two or three days a year in the area often walking our Westie in the grounds which was how we came to meet the Duchess, the first time she was walking the course for a horse trial next day. She was a very down to earth Lady she and my wife talked about Tapestry Joan's Hobby, she gave Benji a biscuit I just listened. A couple of times she was with her hens which roamed free near the main entrance to the house she always chatted. I knew the history of the family as it was a big scandal but the Duchess as she said herself was a normal housewife? some house. I would always go to see what the new art works were and most were in their own niches in the gardens which I never tired of. I would say to FB we all have differing tastes some were wonderful. A lovely Lady who did marvels with the Chatsworth estate and house.


  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    We take our guests often to Chatsworth, and while they look at the house (nice, but don't want to see it every time we go), we look at the gardens.  The vegetable garden is always for me, a joy and a delight.  The Duchess was indeed a powerful force for good at Chatsworth, and will be sorely missed there.  

  • Happy memories, Frank & Bookertoo.

    I love Chatsworth & everything about it and have taken the trouble to study its fascinating history...the beautiful gardens were laid-out by Joseph Paxton.

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    ….where he built the first large glass house ever, which laid the plans and ideas for the Crystal Palace.  Sadly - like the Crystal Palace -  the glass house has gone, but you can see the outlines of where it was on the ground.

  • image


    Yes, have I've seen that, Bookertoo and old photographs of it ....Paxton also introduced the the forerunner of our present day conservatory.......calling it 'my conservative wall', as above.

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    Yes indeed, the wonderful Orangery - just love the Chatsworth Gardens together. 

  • Rb, as I said when I started this's not often I start this kind of thread. But having such high regard for this dear lady (along with so may others) I felt a tribute was in order. Her wise head will be greatly missed at Chatsworth. 

  • granmagranma Posts: 1,879

    Thank you David , for starting this thread I'm sure you have echoed the thoughts and feelings of many.

    Thank you too Frank  for sharing your fond memories of your meetings with the Duchess Who will  be sadly missed for just being herself.

  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    The last time I went to Chatsworth I took Mum who felt, shall we say ill, half way around the tour of the house, due to her slowless in mobility and the number of people there I asked one of the staff if there was a more direct exit we could use. The person was so understanding and made a quick phone call and we were taken into a private area with a bathroom where we stayed until she felt well enough to leave. image

    I've been many times and never tire of visiting there. Love the long gallery with all the marble.

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