On this exciting episode of Duchess, Emma meets the custodian of one of Britain’s greatest stately homes: The Marchioness Townshend of Raynham Hall. In this episode, we learn about the fascinating story of how the city of Sydney was named after a Townshend. The Duchess hears how Lord ‘Turnip’ Townshend ushered in an agricultural revolution at Raynham, and we are given the full story behind the world’s best known ghost photograph!
“You can not dictate the future of a home. All you can do is love it and look after it now.” - Lady Townshend
“Traditionally, these houses would have had recitals for every group of people that they had visiting. Music is in the DNA of grand homes.” - The Duchess of Rutland
About the Guest and Stately Home:
Raynham Hall is a country house located in the glorious countryside of Norfolk. For nearly 400 years it has been the seat of the Townshend family. Born Alison Combs, Lady Townshend is the current custodian of Raynham with her husband Charles Townshend, 8th Marquess Townshend. The couple share four children. Lady Townshend was the editor of The North Norfolk Informer which she co-founded.
Work started on Raynham Hall in 1619 commissioned by Sir Roger Townshend and is considered "one of the outstanding country houses of the period.“ Architecturally, Raynham is a neo-classical house and features a particularly striking marble hall - where classical concerts are held. Raynham Hall is the site for perhaps the most famous ghost of all time, taken by photographers for Country Life - the photo of the famous ‘Brown Lady’ descending the staircase.
About the Host:
Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.