Channel 4 has commissioned ITN Productions to produce a one-off Christmas special, Christmas At Chatsworth House.
Taking a look behind the scenes of the historic Derbyshire house that provided the iconic backdrop for Pride and Prejudice, Christmas At Chatsworth House follows this unique British institution as it prepares for its most important weeks of the year and gets ready to open its doors to over 200,000 Christmas visitors.
Chatsworth House is one of England’s most iconic stately homes and seat to the Cavendish family and all Dukes of Devonshire since 1549. Filmed behind the scenes of the country mansion throughout this year’s festive preparations, we discover that Christmas is Chatsworth’s most important event, its success crucial to the survival of a 500-year-old estate in the 21st century.
The 12th Duke and Duchess still run Chatsworth as a traditional estate, but on a vast scale. With stunning gardens, parkland and 35,000 acres of farm and moor, their corner of the Peak District now employs 800 staff. The house has 500 years of history, a priceless, irreplaceable art collection and a roof the size of a football pitch.
In just five days housekeepers, designers, gardeners and foresters transform Chatsworth with traditional and nostalgic Christmas displays. The house alone is decorated with over 30 Christmas trees, 60,000 baubles and a million fairy lights. This year’s theme, A Land Far, Far Away, is a global experience with the grand rooms of the house dressed in homage to countries that have influenced generations of the Cavendish family. The Chatsworth team has delved into the collection to find a treasure trove of memorabilia from around the world. Morocco, India, Netherlands, Italy, China, Japan, and America all feature in what is described as 'one of the most ambitious Christmas seasons staged by Chatsworth'.
As family and staff rally across the estate to make Christmas 2019 Chatsworth’s greatest yet, they face torrential rain and a countryside crippled by un-precedented flooding. Will this festive season be remembered for all the right reasons?
ITN Production’s Executive Producer, Will Smith, said: “Viewers will be amazed at the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to transform Chatsworth House at Christmas and make it such a magical and enchanting time for visitors. This one-off documentary will provide a compelling insight into the sheer scale of getting the house ready so that guests can participate in the festive fun and have a Christmas to remember.”
The series was commissioned by Becky Cadman at Channel 4. The Executive Producer for ITN Productions is Will Smith, the Producer/Director is Charlie Clay.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Chatsworth House Trust
The Chatsworth House Trust is dedicated to the preservation of Chatsworth House, the art collection, garden, woodlands and park for the long term benefit of the public.
The charity promotes the study and appreciation of Chatsworth as a place of historic, architectural and artistic interest and of natural beauty, and encourages the use and enjoyment of Chatsworth by visitors for education and recreation.