Volume 2: Three Stately British Homes with Vivienne Haxby - Context Travel

Volume 2: Three Stately British Homes with Vivienne Haxby


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This conversation will focus on three of Britain’s best State Homes. Blenheim Palace, Althorp, and Chatsworth were built hundreds of years ago for the families which live in them today. Probably the grandest of all our ‘Statelies’, Blenheim is the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough. It was built for a military hero, Winston Churchill said that he ‘made the two most important decisions of his life’ there, and for a while, the immensely rich and beautiful Consuelo Vanderbilt called it home.

Althorp was the childhood home of Diana, The Princess of Wales. It was built 500 years ago by the Spencers for the Spencers. Today it is home to Diana’s brother who has breathed fresh air into the extraordinary art collection by acquiring exciting contemporary pieces. To enter Althorp is to enter a world apart.

Chatsworth has been home to 15 generations of the Cavendish Family. The family title is the Duke of Devonshire, and the 12th Duke + Duchess live there today. Every generation of the family has bought avant-garde, contemporary art so their Collection is one of the richest and most complete private collections in the world. The Cavendish family tree is littered with colorful characters and Viv will tell you about the Duke + Duchess who lived in a ménage a trois, the Kennedy who nearly became a Duchess, and the original ‘girl boss’ of Stately Home building who first built the House in the 1500s.

Led by Viv Haxby who is an expert on the aristocracy and the monarchy. Designed to inform curiosity as well as encourage future travel, participants will come away with an enhanced knowledge of how three of the greatest Treasure Houses of Britain came into existence.

This conversation is the second in a two-part series. Each seminar can be joined independently and in any order. 
Volume 1: British Stately Homes: An Insider View with Vivienne Haxby
Volume 2: Three Stately British Homes with Vivienne Haxby

Viv has a degree in English Language and Medieval Literature from Durham University. She spends part of each year in France, but for the past 25 years London has been home. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for London's C18 and C19 history and her detailed knowledge of the city's royal connections. She has a particular interest in the great aristocratic landholdings of London, and has created walks around the 'villages' of London such as Chelsea, Bloomsbury and Spitalfields. Viv also works as a volunteer marshal, or 'Green Gown' at Westminster Abbey.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.