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‘Our stately home costs too much’ Aristocrats moan listed mansion on 500 acres is a burden


Descending from a long line of baronets, Alexandra Sitwell lives with her husband Richard in the beautiful Grade 1-listed property Renishaw Hall in Chesterfield.
But she describes the home as a “financial burden”, reports Derbyshire live. The hall was built by Ms Sitwell’s ancestor George Sitwell in 1625, and has been in her family for nearly 400 years.

The Sitwells originally made their fortune in the 16th and 17th centuries, by owning land and making iron.

The couple features in ITV’s new reality show Keeping Up with the Aristocrats, which follow some of Britain’s wealthiest through their lives and showcases their lives.

Ms Sitwell declared her enormous and beautiful home to be a financial burden in the second episode of the show, in which her and Mr Sitwell are working on renovations to the house.

Ms Sitwell described the cost of the refurbishment as a “huge amount” – but refused to specify the figure.

She said: “It’s always going to be a financial burden.

“It’s more a case of ‘pay now so future generations of Sitwells won’t have to’.”

In the episode, the 45-room stately home is full of builders and workers, fixing the pipes, wiring and decoration of the property.

Ms Sitwell commented that it looks like a bomb has hit it.

She added: “I find it very depressing actually, it looks like it’s had the living daylights beaten out of it.”

The show also details what will happen when the couple pass away.

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A portrait is something of a tradition for the Sitwells: every family member from the 1600s has one on the wall.

Ms Sitwell hired Nicky Phillips, one of the country’s leading portrait painters.

Mr Phillips has painted the Queen several times, along with other senior royal family members.

The artist can charge up to £150,000 for a finished portrait.

The series also follows the lives of the Romanoffs, a bona fide member of the Russian aristocracy, whose great-uncle was Tsar Nicholas II.

Olga Romanoff is also a cousin of the Queen, is related to Prince Philip and was once considered an eligible match for Prince Charles.

Additional reporting by Faith Pring

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