In today’s show, the Duchess visits the beautiful Constable Burton Hall & Gardens to meet the current chatelaine, Imogen Wyvill. In the episode, Imogen introduces the Duchess to the chess grand master who courted Florence Nightingale, we learn about the Wyvill family’s important hand in the abolition of slavery, and the ladies discuss the famed and fabulous Tulip festival that is hosted at Constable Burton annually.
"Living in homes like these, you fall in love with them everyday through the eyes of your visitors." - Imogen Wyvill
"The wonderful thing about Constable Burton is that it does have this very warm homely feel to it. It embraces you." - Imogen
"The past year perhaps has helped us realise to keep life a little simpler. And actually it's a reconnection to the love affair with the British Isles." - Imogen
About the Guest and Stately Home:
Imogen Wyvill, nee Garner, is married to Marmaduke D'Arcy William Wyvill, son of Marmaduke Charles Asty Wyvill and Margaret Ann Hardcastle. The couple have two children together. Constable Burton has been home to the Wyvill family for over four -and-a-half centuries. The Wyvills are descended from an unbroken line that stretches back to 1066 when Sir Humphrey de Wyvill was Companion in Arms to William the Conqueror.
Constable Burton Hall is a grade I-listed Georgian mansion in North Yorkshire, that is privately owned by the Wyvill family. The Hall is a handsome Palladian villa designed by the celebrated architect John Carr for Sir Marmaduke Wyvill, and completed in 1768. It is widely recognised as one of the finest medium-sized English houses built in the Palladian style. In 1520, Constable Burton passed first to Sir Ralph Fitz-Randolph, knight, of Spennithorne, and then to Marmaduke Wyvill who married the youngest daughter, Alice, and received this manor with other estates for her share. The Hall is also surrounded by breathtaking gardens and there’s a well known Tulip Festival held annually on the estate.
About the Host:
Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.
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