The maintenance of an estate such as Deene where all of the village is owned by the Estate is not a small job. John Stedman, Estate Building Operations Manager, heads Deene’s maintenance team. With two permanent members of staff; Robert and Rodney, the team is always busy on multiple tasks at any one time. Catching up with John, we took a look around all the projects going on at Deene during this year’s closed season.
The installation of a new Biomass Boiler is now complete. The Biomass Boiler uses woodchip to heat the whole house, estate offices, multiple properties and two of the flats on site as well as the extensive water system used throughout the house.
Heating a house the size of Deene Park is quite a mission and to do something, which is positively environmentally friendly, has been the wish of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Brudenell since their move into the main house.
Biomass Boilers use woodchip, filled up once a week to create the fuel needed for heat and the only waste product is carbon dioxide. The trees in the park require this carbon dioxide to breathe and to grow, exchanging it for oxygen.
With trees felled and chipped, woodlands are re-planted and thus this ecologically friendly source of fuel will make an enormous difference to the carbon footprint of the estate and we are all very excited to see the results. As we write this blog, the team is looking at ways to increase the size of the engine room to incorporate more of the buildings around the house- more accommodation, the estate offices and greenhouses so as to be even more efficient.
The Wedding Marquee
With Deene hosting weddings in the stunning walled gardens right from the spring this year, a new permanent power source is required for reliability, efficiency and for the longevity of the cabling. Cables have been run underground from the main switchboard meaning that the old, unsightly overhead cabling can be removed. In this project, the cabling for the Gardeners Cottage and also the greenhouse has also been moved underground with further overhead power cables removed.
KEYPrime Advanced Accounts
Landmark’s KEYPrime Advanced Accounts software linked to KEYPrime Property was purchased in the autumn of 2013 Deene Park’s current owner’s father, the late Edmund Brudenell. He set the objective of updating the coding, recording and management for both accounts and property with a timescale to dovetail in with a Spring 2014 year start. Confidence in the system has grown since that initial data migration and the Estate Office team has worked with clarity and tenacity to transform the functioning of the office. Read our blog based on the Landmark Post case study as data collection and data management have been transformed across the estate.
The Estate Office
Breaking from the tradition of Estate offices being lots of small rooms where a person sits in solitary confinement with just a single desk, the Estate Building Team have transformed this area into a large open plan office with glass feature window into the Estate Manager’s office. With Mr. Robert Brudenell’s office also housed in this building, the space now includes a reception area and boardroom.
Additionally, in this area, a previously unused wing of the building has been transformed into a single bedroom flat, Coach House. The increased size of the Biomass Boiler will also incorporate the heat and hot water for this space. The home will consist of an open plan kitchen, dining, living area as well as a bedroom and bathroom. A bolt-hole in a simply beautiful setting.
8,9 and 9a Deene
Under-utlised for over 10 years, the farm buildings in the village of Deene were part of the tenancy of the farm itself. The farmer doesn’t require all this space and as such, the renovations of two 3-bedroom houses and a 1-bedroom flat are complete and either in a position to be let or are already let. Similarly to the Clerk’s Lodgings, the renovation of these properties started with an entire strip out- including the replacement of the roof. As the buildings sit within a conservation area, the Collyweston roof is being fully restored on the front aspect of the houses.
The chimney breast is being re-enforced and under-floor heating added throughout. The under-floor heating has required the existing stone and concrete floor level to be dug out 18 inches, followed by piping and the under floor electrics being laid. With sand-blasted open beams and a feature window in one of the houses, the renovation of these homes would not look out of place on one of the ‘Grand Design’ style programmes filmed for the small screen.
Just to say thank you for arranging our visit to Deene Park, which was much appreciated by our group. Also thank you to Mrs Brudenell for greeting us so warmly – it is certainly a lovely house to live in. There is so much potential for the gardens, which are being well tended by Andrew.
Historic Roses Group20th June 2018
On behalf of the Fuchsia friendship travel club, I should like to thank you and all your team for the wonderful reception we received and care and attention during our visit. The ladies doing the food were so friendly and caring going out of their way to satisfy our needs! The tour guides in the house had a wealth of information, sometimes too much to take in, there was so much history to absorb about the family. Even the gardeners were giving us tips on growing their plants. Thank you for making our visit so enjoyable.
Barbara Barker19th June 2018
Thank you so much for all your help in arranging Ed and Jenny’s wedding at Deene Park. It was a long time ago when we came to Deene Park and despite the rain we knew straight away that this was the right place for us. The House and Gardens were wonderful and we were very impressed by you, Tina and you completely lived up to our first impressions. You have been an absolute rock throughout for Ed and Jenny and we really appreciate everything you have done. Saturday was one of the happiest days of our lives.
Sarah Mellor5th June 2018
Just to say a very big thank you to you for your patience and help, given that we were almost an hour late for our tour. We all thought the house and grounds were absolutely delightful and the historical talk you gave was pleasant, amusing and enjoyable. Thank you so much, once again, we all felt very privileged to have been able to not only visit Deene Park, but have had the exclusivity of a private viewing.
Offley Car Club10th May 2018
We all thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Deene Park today. Please thank your guides for making our tour around the many rooms and the information they shared with us so interesting. The cups of tea and choice of cake gave us the energy to walk round and explore the magnificent gardens and admire the long borders and topiary. We were fortunate to have fine weather and the butterflies, bees and dragonflies were a bonus.
Oundle Historical Society
I pass on our great thanks from all the folks who came from St. Michael’s and St. Mary’s, Woodkirk for a really wonderful visit. The weather was very kind so we were able to enjoy the lovely gardens and both guides were very informative and friendly and everybody enjoyed their lunch and endless pieces of cake. The house look superb and the extra displays covering 500 years of the Brudenells life at Deene Park were really informative and helpful. For my wife Angela and myself it brought back memories of visiting Deene Park literally ten years ago to the day to be interviewed by Edmund and Marian for the post here at East Ardsley – happy memories and also of the butler at the time who I understand has also died. Please do pass on our thanks to the team and all who helped make our visit very special.
Glenn CogginsVicar at St. Michael’s East Ardsley
Wow!! What a great day we had. Deene Park was a little hidden gem. What a history it had and on behalf of all my group I would like you to pass on our thanks to our two guides, Ruth (my group) and David. They made the house come alive and had so much knowledge. Please also pass on our thanks to the chef, the food was excellent and the waitresses who were so pleasant and efficient. All in all it was a wonderful day and I will have no hesitation in recommending Deene Park as a great place to visit.
Our guide was Andrew the Head Gardener who is to be congratulated for his depth of knowledge about the origins of the gardens. He had studied the original records of the early days of the Brudenell/Cardigan family and produced a very interesting talk and tour. His passion and vision for the garden is refreshing and has produced a wonderful collection of “Cottage Garden” plants that flourish through the seasons with the encouragement of Mrs Brudenell. The Estate now has a lovely wooden framed shop selling plants and memorabilia pertaining to Deene Park. I’d love some of his Cottage Garden seeds! Very enjoyable couple of hours and the sun shone which is a bonus. Highly recommend.
Despite the weather we had a wonderful day with you all and everything worked out so well – the welcome was so warm and your staff in the kitchen were spot on! Presentation of food was excellent and I felt the prices were most acceptable! Wendy, the guide was quite wonderful and I hope she realised how much we enjoyed the tour – everybody paid full attention. We were lucky enough to have a window of dry after lunch and were able to get around the grounds and also bought plants! We even had a “Gardener’s Question Time” with the Head Gardener, who was patient and knew everything we asked! All in all despite the weather we had a really good day. Thank you again.
JanetWednesday 18th May 2016
We had a terrific time at Deene Park. Please pass on our thanks firstly to the owners, but also to everyone else who contributed to such a delightful afternoon. We know it takes an awful lot of work by unseen staff, as well as those we met, in order for these events to be successful. We were made very welcome by the lady on the gate and had a fascinating insight into Deene Park’s history by our tour guide. The gardeners too are to be commended for the outstanding plants, inside the house and grounds. All in all, a splendid house, in a fabulous setting. What better way to spend a summer afternoon. We certainly hope to visit again.
Averil & Lloyd FaireyAugust 2015
I would like to thank you for a fabulous visit on Wednesday. Everyone loved it and said there was a lovely atmosphere. The guide who took my group around was fantastic. Not only was he very knowledgeable, but he put it over very clearly and in an interesting manner, we were sorry we had to stop for lunch! The food was delicious and the ladies were friendly and helpful. All in all a perfect day.
Maureen StruttLetchworth Arts & Leisure Group
I visited today 29th June as part of the Boughton House group. Absolutely bowled over by this lovely warm house, its antecedents and history. Above all it felt like a home. Very privileged to be shown the Church especially by Charlotte Brudenell. I can’t praise the family enough for managing the complex preservation issues, but most of all for preserving this magical place for us all. Special thanks for making time for us, your pride in your ancestors is well founded.
Boughton Monuments Guides
Thank you for all your help which contributed to the success of our visit to Deene Park. We all had a very good time and were blessed with lovely weather to enjoy the garden. Please congratulate your catering team, the food was simply delicious. I chose well and thought the summer pudding was one of the best I’d ever tasted! We had a very good holiday and our visit to Deene at the beginning really set the tone for what was to follow, the guides were also excellent. My thanks for all your endeavours.
Linda DippyUpper Thames & Ridgeway NT Association