Duke’s heritage work acclaimed

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The Duke of Devonshire has received international recognition for his restoration of Chatsworth House.

In a glitzy ceremony in New York, the Duke was awarded the 2012 Watch Award by the World Monuments Fund.

The Duke, along with the Duchess of Devonshire, has devoted the past six years to the renovation of the great house, which his family has owned since 1549.

On receiving the award, he said: “When I think of the work that you do, the crucially important conservation, the seemingly impossible rescues that you manage every year all over the world I am humbled that you have chosen Chatsworth.

“However, thinking back over the last 60 years or so, it is somewhat extraordinary that this house, with its garden and park as twin pendants, have all survived and indeed are now facing the future with more confidence, more certainty than at any time since the middle of the 19th century.”

During 2007, a programme of major restoration began with the repair and cleaning of the inner court, and the north front of the house.

Earlier this year scaffolding was removed to reveal gleaming stonework, repaired carvings and 24–carat gold gilding on the south and west fronts, restoring the house to its original glory.

“Most of the credit for this recovery belongs to my parents, Andrew and Debo,” the Duke continued.

“Thanks to their energy, imagination and a healthy dose of stubbornness over a tenure of 50 years they turned a sad and decrepit old place into a destination which three quarters of a million people enjoy visiting every year.”