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Worthies and Woman Power

August 6, 2017

 

After a recent visit to Chatsworth House a friend of mine wrote this short piece for me featuring one of the famous/infamous Mitford sisters (google them and be amazed and alarmed -one of them fell in love with Hitler and another married the British fascist leader Oswald Mosely ). Deborah "Debo" Miftford married the Duke of Devonshire lived well into her 90's and only died in 2014

 

Curious visitors who take the trouble to explore the gardens of Derbyshire’s stately Chatsworth House in greater depth  are rewarded with a truly unexpected sight.

Tucked away in a leafy glade you will find The Queen rubbing shoulders with the likes of Sir John Betjeman, Lucian Freud and Sir Tom Stoppard.

They are just some of the 14  bronze busts on display in the grounds of the ancestral seat of the Dukes of Devonshire.

The stunning collection was created by Angela Conner who served her apprenticeship under Dame Barbara Hepworth.

Conner was a close friend of Andrew Cavendish, the 11th Duke of Devonshire. They met in 1964 when she was just beginning her career as a sculptor, after being introduced by her brother-in-law and the playwright, John Osborne.

A bust of Prince Charles also features in the collection and he was so impressed that he mounted a series of busts of his own on a “Wall of Worthies” in the garden of his Gloucestershire home,Highgrove.

And, fittingly, a bust of the late Deborah, Dowager Duchess of Chatsworth, is one of those worthies on display.  

 

The Duchess of Devonshire 

 

                Angela Conner 

 

                 The Duke of Devonshire 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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