Duchess / Demetra Lindsay of Hedingham Castle

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Episode notes


On this week’s episode, The Duchess meets Demetra Lindsay - custodian of the marvellous Hedingham Castle. Demetra brings The Duchess inside the walls of Britain’s best preserved Norman keep. We learn about the history of Hedingham Castle, we hear a beautiful love story that challenged the social norms of it’s day, Demetra introduces us to some ghostly residents who continue to walk the halls, and we take a tour down the wonderful gardens of Hedingham. Enjoy.

Have you ever watched Bridgerton, The Crown or Downton Abbey and wondered what it's really like to be a Duchess? If so, this is the podcast for you.


“We bring our own passion to the homes while we are custodians of it. Which is a moment in time. When you look across to the keep that’s been here for 900 years it’s just a breath.” - The Duchess of Rutland

“A sense of duty is something that’s key for running heritage.” The Duchess

 “Living in heritage is a partnership with people.” - The Duchess of Rutland

“A sense of responsibility is the essence of getting up in the morning.” - Demetra Lindsay

“The secret to a Great British Garden is all about turning and finding a surprise.” - Demetra Lindsay


Demetra Lindsay married her husband Jason in 2003. Prior to moving into the estate, Demetra was an architect. The couple appeared on Channel 4’s The Landscape Man, and continue to live permanently on the estate with their 3 children. 


The grounds of Hedingham Castle encompass over a 1000 years of history. Built in the 12th Century by Aubrey De Vere, one of William the Conqueror's most important knights, the castle is one of Europe’s best preserved Norman Keeps. For hundreds of years Hedingham was the seat to the Earl’s of Oxford and hosted some of the British Empire’s most important figures - King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I. Since passing from the De Vere family to the Majendies, who owned Hedingham for 250 years, the castle now finds itself with the Lindsays - who serendipitously are descendents of the De Vere’s. Hedingham Castle continues to marvel tourists and visitors, who can enjoy the grounds, keep, and armoury, at weddings and events all year round. 


Emma Rutland, The Duchess of Rutland, did not always stride the halls of stately homes. Born Emma Watkins, the Duchess grew up the daughter of a Quaker farmer, in the Welsh marsh countryside. She trained as an opera singer in the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a successful interior designer before meeting her future husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, at a dinner party. Their marriage in 1992 would transform Emma Watkins into the 11th Duchess of Rutland, thrusting her into the world of aristocracy, and handing her the responsibility of one of the nation's great treasures: Belvoir Castle. While simultaneously running the day to day operations of the castle, and raising five children, The Duchess became fascinated with the history and importance of the other stately homes of the UK. Join The Duchess as she embarks on a wonderful journey through time, to learn more about the incredible homes that have defined Great Britain and, most importantly, meet the other extraordinary women who work tirelessly behind their doors to preserve their history and magic for future generations.