Heritage listening: Duchess the podcast

Inevitably I have become an avid listener to the new heritage-focused podcast series launched by the Duchess of Rutland, simply entitled, “Duchess” as I have headed out for my daily constitutionals during lockdown.

The first series has ranged far and wide across the UK, focusing on the personal stories of the women behind the running and development of private stately homes and estates – most of whom are united by being part of the British aristocracy with the title Duchesses. As Emma Rutland wryly observes, it is a somewhat elite club!

She has however produced utterly engaging interviews which have been exceedingly open and honest, revealing how the interviewees have married into, inherited, survived and prospered as members of the British establishment. More importantly the interviews go a long way to break down the stereotypes of the private stately home owner in explaining the trials and tribulations of the sleeves-rolled-up approaches needed for maintaining the ongoing survival and flourishing of the estates in local communities and modern society more widely.

The love of peeking behind the curtain will make the series appeal to many, whilst anyone interested more in the ‘management’ of heritage sites will find plenty too, as the stories have provided a wealth of case studies of innovation, social inclusion, community development, tourism experience creation, and reflections on long term stewardship of historic assets in private hands often against the odds.

The podcasts can be found in the usual audio locations, and further details can also be found on the dedicated website: https://www.duchessthepodcast.com

Special interest magazines: Country Life

Magazine summary: Country Life is a British weekly glossy magazine which covers a range of subjects in depth, from gardens and gardening to country house architecture, fine art and books, and property to rural issues, luxury products and interiors. It contains extensive property listings for countryside and historic properties and estates. Considered a British institution, Country Life has charted the historic context for country houses, architecture, estate management and society over an extended period. The associated Picture Library forms an important historic architectural record of buildings and landscapes.

Publisher: Time Inc. (UK) Ltd.

Website: http://www.countrylife.co.uk/

Access: Print / online subscription; available in newsagents; also available via various County Library e-magazine services

Journal type: Special interest magazine