The Telegraph gives a detailed account of the renovations at the Duke of Devonshire’s home:
Chatsworth is a family home, but it is also a profitable operation, a tourist attraction visited by hundreds of thousands each year. When the Duke’s father and mother moved into Chatsworth in 1959, they set about turning a financial nightmare into the moneymaking enterprise it has become. Colossal as their success was, the new Duke realised that if Chatsworth was to continue to thrive, not only did the fabric of the house need attention, but the quality of the experience offered to visitors needed reconsidering, especially if it was to appeal to a new, younger audience.
And that meant capitalising on the tremendous interest in contemporary art in recent years. Since the Duke is deputy chairman of Sotheby’s and with his wife, Amanda, has long been an enthusiastic collector of modern art and contemporary craft, one of his first innovations was to stage a selling show of large-scale modern sculpture on the lawns behind the house. At first, the Duke told me, “eyebrows were raised”. But such was the success of the first show in 2006 that it is now staged each autumn, attracting visitors just as numbers might otherwise be starting to dwindle.
Chatsworth House: A Masterpiece in Every Room (Telegraph)