Scalby Lodge Awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

The Duchy of Lancaster’s luxury holiday cottages at Scalby Lodge have once again this year received a Certificate of Excellence from the world’s largest travel website, TripAdvisor.

The Certificate of Excellence is awarded in recognition of the quality, quantity and timeliness of reviews submitted by satisfied customers over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Now in its sixth year, the award is designed to celebrate operators who deliver a quality customer experience and the highest levels of service throughout the year.

Commenting on the award, Duchy Holiday Cottages Manager Jayne Pickup said: “We are delighted to hear that we have been awarded the Certificate again this year. The comfort and enjoyment of our visitors is of paramount importance to us here at Scalby Lodge and we work hard to do whatever we can to make their stay here a ‘home from home’. The fact that this Certificate is awarded on the basis of comments, reviews and testimonials from visitors who have stayed with us is the best possible measure of success.”

Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing for TripAdvisor, agreed: “With the Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor honours businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings. This helps travellers identify properties that regularly deliver great service and we are proud to play our part in helping them feel more confident in their booking decisions.”

The Duchy of Lancaster owns fifteen luxury holiday properties at Scalby Lodge near Scarborough, many of which were refurbished earlier this year in line with the Duchy’s new Design Standard. These have been awarded a 5-star rating by VisitEngland, and a new holiday property, Root Farm Cottage in Lancashire, has also been added to the portfolio in the last 12 months.

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Morrow+Lorraine Appointed for Savoy Street

Savoy Street Street ViewInternal View_From Stairs            The Duchy of Lancaster has appointed award-winning architectural firm Morrow+Lorraine to remodel one of its prestige office suites on the ground floor of 9 Savoy Street, London. This will include the creation of a new, self-contained entrance onto the Embankment and the remodelling of the interior floorplate to transform it into a fully refurbished open plan space.

This historic five-storey building is currently occupied by a number of commercial organisations and companies, as well as the administrative headquarters of the Duchy of Lancaster.

Overlooking the Thames at Waterloo Bridge, the building has remained largely unaltered in terms of its external design since it was built in the early 1930s. Drawings exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1933, together with photographs dating back to 1932, show the full extent of the Art Deco styling to both the interior and exterior of the original property, known as Brettenham House.

Architectural firm Morrow+Lorraine was formed in 2009 by co-founders Julian Morrow and J-J Lorraine and has undertaken projects for many leading developers and estate owners across Central London. In September 2015, the practice won the Architects Journal Retrofit Award for office space under 20,000 sqm for its refurbishment of 116 Marylebone Lane, London.

Commenting on their appointment, Mike Andrews, head of commercial property for the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “This is a statement building in an iconic location and it is important that our proposals reflect its architectural heritage, while providing high quality accommodation and an attractive addition to the streetscape. We are confident that Morrow+Lorraine are just the practice to deliver this.

The Duchy of Lancaster is fully supportive of the Northbank BID’s drive to create a sense of place and purpose for the area and we want to be sure that any refurbishment of our buildings reflects this.”

Knight Frank and Farebrother have been retained as advisors and work is due to commence on the refurbishment in Spring 2016.


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Tenants Attend Royal Garden Party

Tenants from the Duchy of Lancaster were invited to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on 24th May, where they were presented to Her Majesty The Queen as Duke of Lancaster, and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

Her Majesty The Queen Duke of Lancaster greets Her Duchy of Lancaster tenants
Her Majesty The Queen Duke of Lancaster greets Her Duchy of Lancaster tenants
Duchy tenants also met Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at this year's Garden Party
Duchy tenants also met Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at this year’s Garden Party

Following the initial presentation to The Queen, led by Duchy CEO Mr Nathan Thompson, the Duchy tenants were introduced to Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who were also in attendance.

Each year, one of the three Garden Parties held at Buckingham Palace and attended by The Queen includes guests from the Duchy of Lancaster. A small number of tenants are then formally presented to the Royal Party and introduced to Her Majesty The Queen who, as Duke of Lancaster, owns the land and property assets which form part of this ancient inheritance.

This year, the Duchy tenants included:

  • Mr and Mrs Jeremy Gosling – who have managed the Peak Caverns tourist attraction in Castleton, Derbyshire for the past 20 years
  • Mr and Mrs Robin Hancox – who have been growing, packing and distributing vegetables to High Street supermarkets from their farm in Lincolnshire for over 30 years.
  • Mr and Mrs Nick Hilton – who run a highly successful food production company supplying retailers and manufacturers with dairy based products from the company’s headquarters on the Crewe estate in Cheshire.
  • Mr and Mrs David Hutchinson – who are third generation Duchy farmers, producing a range of high quality arable crops from their farms in Strixton and Knuston in Northamptonshire.
  • Mr and Mrs Stephen Pugh – who grow a variety of different potato crops on high quality arable land near Drayton in Lincolnshire.

Mr Christopher Sparrow, Head of Rural for the Duchy of Lancaster and James Maxwell, a partner at Farrers LLP, who act for the Duchy, were also in attendance.

Commenting on the day’s events, CEO Nathan Thompson said: “It is always a pleasure to be able to present Duchy of Lancaster tenants to Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and for our tenants it is always a very special and memorable day. This year, we were also honoured by the presence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.”

The Duchy of Lancaster is an ancient inheritance which began in 1265. It includes land and property assets divided into five Rural and one Urban Surveys. The Rural Surveys, which broadly align with County boundaries, are Cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire, together with Southern which includes land and property in South Wales, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire.

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Duchy Breathes New Life Into Local Landmark

IMG_4603 (2)Garden2 Reception2 Reception1 (2)                                       A local landmark has been brought back to life this month following a comprehensive programme of repair, refurbishment and restoration works by the Duchy of Lancaster.

 Amicia Tenement on the Duchy’s Crewe Estate in Cheshire was originally built by Lord Crewe in the mid 19th century and named after his daughter, the Honourable Amicia Henrietta Milnes. Used during his lifetime as a private retreat from his formal residence at Crewe Hall, the property was acquired as part of Lord Crewe’s estate by the Duchy of Lancaster in the 1930s. In the intervening years, it has served as a private residence, corporate headquarters and equestrian centre before falling vacant at the end of 2015.

Early in 2016, the Duchy of Lancaster commissioned a programme of works to restore the property to its former glory and update it to reflect the Duchy’s national Design Standard and quality specification. The works are now completed and on 23rd May, Duchy tenants, local residents and other interested parties were invited to Amicia Tenement to see the transformation for themselves.

Commenting on the project, Christopher Sparrow, Duchy Head of Rural said: “This has been a genuine labour of love for everyone working on the project. Amicia is a unique and very special place set in three and a half acres of garden and parkland with a commanding view over open countryside. Its magnificent façade is now matched by the quality of the interior finish, creating a home that is designed for modern family life – and of course for entertaining. It has been a privilege to bring this extraordinary period property back to life and we look forward to this new chapter in its long and illustrious history.”

The restoration of Amicia Tenement is the latest in an ongoing schedule of property repairs, refurbishments and restorations across the Duchy’s rural estates.


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Historic Year For The Barmote Courts

2016 is already proving to be an exciting year for the 700-year old Barmote Court in Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

  • External repairs and internal decoration work are underway on the historic Moot Hall, built here in the early 19th century and home to the Court since 1814.
  • Mr Jim Rieuwerts became the longest continuously serving juror of the Barmote in May, having completed 50 years of service, 14 of which were spent as foreman of the jury.
  • Also in May this year, for the first time, two lady solicitors were appointed to the post of Deputy Steward. Suzanne Porter was appointed to the Wirksworth and Juanita Haigh to the Chatsworth Barmote Courts. Both are part of the Bakewell team of legal firm Taylor & Emmet LLP.Dating back some 700 years, the Barmote Courts were set up to preside over disputes arising from lead mining rights across the Peak District. There were originally two Courts – one at Monyash (High Peak) and one at Wirksworth (Low Peak). The two Courts merged in 1814 and meetings for both Courts were held at the Moot Hall, built in the same year.

The Court consists of the Barmaster, the Steward and twelve Jury members. The Steward, who is appointed by Her Majesty The Queen as Duke of Lancaster must be a barrister of five years’ standing, or a solicitor of seven years’ standing. The main duties of the Steward are to receive complaints, issue summonses and preside over the Courts. The current office-holder is Mr. Michael Cockerton, a Solicitor of Goodwin, Cockerton and Colhoun of Bakewell. Mr Cockleton has been in post since 1983.

The Barmaster is also appointed by Her Majesty The Queen as Duke of Lancaster. The Barmaster acts as the executor of precepts for summoning members of the jury issued by Steward, attends viewings of mines, ensures that justice is done between the mines, apportions any new veins discovered and collects fines. The current Barmaster is Mr. Eddie Tennant, who is also the Duchy of Lancaster’s Mineral Agent.

The Grand Jury of the Barmote Court is formed of twelve men who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the Court in the High Peak, or be resident and working within Wirksworth. These individuals are summoned by the Barmaster to attend the Court, view mines and to give an opinion on matters put to them. The role of the Deputy Steward will be to swear in the twelve members of the Jury on behalf of the Steward.

While there has been no business at the recent sittings of the Court , the Court’s jurisdiction still exists and the jury is sworn in for 12 months. In line with tradition, beer, bread and cheese are provided before the jury is called and each member of the jury is given a clay pipe. A replica clay pipe, mounted and framed in a display case, was presented by the Duchy Solicitor Mr Timothy Crow to Mr Rieuwerts in recognition of his exceptional record of service.

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