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Chatsworth set for war exhibition

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An exhibition marking the centenary of the First World War and 75 years since the outbreak of the Second World War is set to open next month.

Objects, archives, photographs and stories will be used at Chatsworth House to demonstrate what life was like during both wars.

The event will explore the wartime contribution of women, the life of the Devonshire family at the time as well as stories from the house and staff of the estate.

Chatsworth’s team has conducted research from within their own archives, as well as local and national archives, to put the exhibition together.

Hannah Obee, curator at Chatsworth, said they want to get people to experience what life was like at that time.

She added: “This is a great opportunity to come to Chatsworth. It’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the house and all the different aspects of the exhibition.

“We are trying to share the stories about people that used to be here at the time – there are going to be some really unique memories.

“I think Chatsworth had to mark the centenary, we wanted to do something different and it’s not going to be just about going into one room.

“It’s really coming together now – you plan these things for so long that sometimes you don’t think they are ever going to happen.”

The event, which has taken over a year to plan, will be spread across both Chatsworth house and the gardens.

In the gardens, staff will be dressed as land girls and some of the flower beds will be turned into vegetable patches. There will also be a replica Anderson shelter.

The house will boast a unique opportunity for people to see a recreated version of one of the rooms which hosted the girls’ school Penrhos College between September 1939 and March 1946.

The recreated version of the room will also have a video of the girls at the time projected on to the wall.

Hannah said that so much happened in Chatsworth during the wars that the team wanted to celebrate it.

She added: “It has taken a lot of work, especially the film. We paid for it to be made into a digital format from the archived videos.

“It is definately a big highlight of the exhibition – we are trying to encourage people to get a different experience of the place.

“It’s been great to bring all the departments together, it’s important to exhibit everything including the house and gardens.”

 

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