Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Show of the Week

This evening at eight-thirty on BBC Four a new series, Petworth House: The Big Spring Clean begins. Andrew Graham-Dixon goes behind the scenes at one of our most beautiful stately homes, spending a winter working with the National Trust's conservation team at Petworth House in West Sussex.

Graham-Dixon joins the expert conservation team as they commence the epic task of 'putting the house to bed' for the winter. He gets up close and personal with a Turner painting; does the dishes the National Trust way; vacuums one of the UK's rarest rugs; and learns the secrets of a book which pre-dates the invention of printing.

Though now owned by the National Trust, for the past 250 years the house and the estate have been in the hands of the Wyndham family — currently 7th Baron Leconfield, 2nd Baron Egremont (born 1948), generally known simply as Max Egremont, a direct descendant of Sir John Wyndham. He and his family live in the south wing, allowing much of the remainder to be open to the public.

Incidentally, the Barons Leconfield were the largest landowners in County Clare, Ireland, in Victorian times.


Anonymous said...

I'd have thought he would've been known by the older peerage? (or is it in the peerage of Ireland and therefore of lower rank?)


Timothy Belmont said...

The sixth Baron served as Private Secretary to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan from 1957 to 1963. In 1963, four years before he succeeded his father in the barony of Leconfield, the Egremont title held by his ancestors was revived when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Egremont, of Petworth in the County of Sussex.

As of 2010[update] the titles are held by his son, the seventh Baron. Known as Max Egremont, he is a biographer and novelist.