Lancashire residents who enjoyed the Channel 4 series ‘The Aristocrats’ can see the next two episodes in the New Year – when the spotlight will be turned on the Victorian oak partners desks of St Giles House and Waddesdon Manor.
Unlike Blenheim Palace and Goodwood – the first two homes in the series – the 17th century mansion of Wimborne St Giles, ancestral home of the Earls of Shaftesbury, is relatively unknown to tourists, the family having not lived there for 50 years. That was until the 10th Earl’s body was found at the bottom of a ravine, and the eldest son dropped dead of a heart attack. Suddenly, the only surviving family member, Nicholas Ashley Cooper, was the unlikely possessor of an aristocratic title – and a crumbling manor house. His original plan was to be a New York DJ.
Faced with the damage caused by his father, the 12th Earl could have left his inheritance to fall into complete decay. Instead, despite breaking his back in a riding accident, he invested millions in putting things right, although it will be a long time before visitors can be shown round.
There are plenty of antique chests for Cumbrian visitors to see at Waddesdon Manor, the seat of the fabulously wealthy Rothschild family.
An antique dealer can make anyone feel like a Lord in Lancashire; all it takes is an antique dining table and some Victorian balloon backed dining chairs .
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