Chatsworth House has undergone a 10-year restoration which saw it being encased in scaffolding, re-gilding of the windows and the removal of three centuries’ worth of grime.
Stoker Cavendish, 74, succeeded his father following his death in 2004 and moved in to Chatsworth with his wife, Amanda, and their children, while his own mother, Deborah Mitford, relocated to a house on the sprawling estate near Bakewell. She passed away in 2014.
The Duke told The Telegraph ‘we started making changes quite quickly’ and added: “Privately my mother wasn’t very comfortable with some of those, but publicly she was fine and that was all one could ask of her.
“I know that some of the things we did were regarded as pretty disloyal to her.”
One such change was cutting down an avenue of lime trees which had been planted from the North Gate to the house to celebrate the millennium.
And according to The Telegraph, the Duke ‘upset her greatly’ when he closed the estate’s dairy farm, which he said was ‘losing a lot of money’.
The Duke's comments come as a new book is released celebrating the completion of Chatsworth House’s 10-year refurbishment programme.
In a foreword for the book, called Chatsworth, Arcadia, Now, the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire say: “We lived at Chatsworth throughout the Masterplan, using different rooms as the work progressed.
“For two years our bedroom was in the attics; there are 82 steps from the ground floor to the top, so it was better not to leave your spectacles upstairs in the morning.”
Some people were also left upset by prices at Chatsworth’s Christmas market, which was held between November 6 and 24.
In a recent letter to the Derbyshire Times, a resident said he visited the market with his wife and relatives – and had concerns.
He said: “I paid TWENTY quid for the privilege of parking my motor 50 feet nearer the house. Looking round the stalls, most of the prices were eye-watering, to say the least.
“Even so, not having had any breakfast, we decided on a cob apiece. She had a hot roast pork with stuffing and apple sauce and I had a plain bacon cob.
“The roast pork cob was £8 and my bacon cob was £5. The roast pork one in particular had a filling that looked like the contents of a child’s nappy, even though the wife said it was ‘not bad’.
“So if you're planning to go to Chatsworth for the fair, eat before you go and take PLENTY of cash.”
Other complaints have been made on social media about the event being ‘too expensive’.
One man said marshmallows cost £2.50 each while a woman said four hot dogs cost £30 and they ‘didn’t taste that great either’.
We asked Chatsworth if it wanted to say anything in response to the criticism – but no comment was given.