HELLO AND WELCOME TO MY WEBSITE!
I am Emma, the 11th Duchess of Rutland and Belvoir Castle is my home. Fabulous, fairytale Belvoir! It is the most fantastic house in England (though I say it myself) and for the past twenty years, I have had the great good fortune to have the running of it.
But this is the 21st century, and my life is very different from that of the ten duchesses that came before me. They might have spent their time putting on frocks and hosting glamorous parties, riding to hounds and giving orders to the gardener – I don’t. As the Duke of Devonshire told me when I was starting out, “When it comes to dukedoms, it is the role of the women to earn the money and it’s our job to spend it” – there was never a truer word! I come from solid Welsh farming stock. My father ran a mixed farm, mostly sheep and beef, and my mother a B&B from our home, so I was used to mucking in - and there hasn’t been a day since when I was not thankful for that up-bringing. In 2001 my husband David inherited the dukedom and when my mother-in-law wished me good luck and passed me the keys to the castle, I just had to roll my sleeves up and muck in again, only this time the work was multiplied by 50.
Over the years, it has been my mission to make Belvoir what once it was - the greatest house of this region of England, and to build a business that will support the Castle and Estate, not just for my lifetime and that of my children, but for many generations to come. There have been many challenges and I haven’t always taken the right turn, but if you would like to keep an eye on all the ups and downs of my progress, then follow my blog and let’s see how this story unfolds.
Exploring the historic homes of Great Britain and the 'behind the scenes' stories of the inspiring women who lead them today.
In this podcast the Duchess will travel to breathtaking homes, learn the epic tales of their construction, meet the historic figures that walked their halls, hear and chilling ghost stories and the heartbreaking tales of romance. All while getting to know the inspiring, powerful women that work to find the delicate balance between preservation and transformation.
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Belvoir is one of the country’s finest Regency castles. My family and I are enormously privileged to be able to call Belvoir home.
Dating back to 1067, the Belvoir Estate has been passed down through 36 successive generations, mostly through the male line but occasionally through the female line – hence the name change to Manners in our early history.
There are many treasures for you to enjoy at Belvoir, both inside and out. We’re especially proud of our new landscaped garden which was restored in 2016 from Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s 1780 original designs and the restoration of the 18th century buildings at the foot of the castle that until recently stood redundant and are now the heartbeat of our local community and a centre of excellence for local food, drink and artisan shopping.
Our aim is to preserve and cherish Belvoir and everything within the Castle and estate to enable future generations to enjoy it for many more centuries to come.
I am delighted to introduce you to my first Gallery, one of the highlights of the Engine Yard development.
Inspired by my love of interiors and fashion, The Duchess Gallery is home to a unique collection of fashionable clothing, stylish interiors, stunning accessories and thoughtful gifts. What’s more, you’ll discover brands that won’t be found anywhere else in the region. The Gallery comprises a diverse collection which I’ve carefully curated to represent and showcase my interests and sense of style. It includes the best of creativity, new talent and captures the spirit of entrepreneurship from both established luxury brands and up and coming British designers.
Everything you see here has been chosen with integrity & with you in mind. I hope you enjoy spending time browsing and leave with something special for family, friends and perhaps yourself!
Belvoir Castle’s unique retail village, restored from old estate buildings, now a centre of excellence for local food, drink and artisan shopping.
The Engine Yard is open 7 Days a week, it boasts to have the most beautiful cocktail bar, the Balloon Bar, a gorgeous restaurant for breakfast and lunch fittingly named the Fuel Tank and The Duchess’s Gallery where you’ll discover a fabulous collection curated by the Duchess of Rutland herself of interiors, clothing and much more.