Chatsworth may not re-open to visitors until 2021

Chatsworth HouseChatsworth House
Chatsworth House
The Duke of Devonshire has admitted that his family may struggle to re-open Chatsworth House to the public this year.

Peregrine Cavendish, the twelfth Duke, revealed in an interview with the Daily Telegraph that the Peak District's leading visitor attraction may not be able to adapt to the era of social distancing.

The house and grounds receive around 600,000 visitors every year, and events such as the Chatsworth Horse Trials and RHS Chatsworth Flower Show generate significant income.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Although Chatsworth is still the Cavendish family seat, a charitable trust runs the business and it faces major challenges.

A project to repair the leaking 18th-century Cascade in the gardens has been shelved and the Duke has pointed out that constantly cleaning antique furniture is not feasible, as it could damage the surfaces.

He drew comparisons to the two-week closure of the estate during the foot and mouth disease crisis in 2001, but then admitted that staff are 'not sure' if they will be able to open the house again in 2021.

He expects it to operate at only 25 per cent of its pre-lockdown capacity when it does open its doors again.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Duke also acknowledged that the heritage sector may not be 'high enough up the waiting list' for government support.

The Devonshires have opened the grounds of their Yorkshire estate, Bolton Abbey in Wharfedale, under a ticket-only system with social distancing measures in place.