The Duchess of Rutland’s refurbishment of Moscar Lodge near Bamford

PUBLISHED: 00:00 01 April 2020

Spacious yet comfortable the living room combines luxurious window dressings with country house style

Spacious yet comfortable the living room combines luxurious window dressings with country house style

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The Duchess of Rutland has taken inspiration from the surrounding moorland for her splendid refurbishment of Moscar Lodge near Bamford. She tells Catherine Roth about the project.

The Victorian Lodge set in Peak District moorlandThe Victorian Lodge set in Peak District moorland

Moscar Lodge near Bamford offers the ultimate in luxury accommodation. It has been recently refurbished by the Duchess of Rutland who, through her creative vision, has created a unique residence that celebrates the landscape.

Surrounded by 6,000 acres of moorland, Moscar Lodge is a place to relax and unwind whilst being just a 20 minute drive from Sheffield city centre. This traditional hunting lodge, described as a ‘unique palatial Victorian house’, offers five star comfort, accommodating up to 20 guests and boasting 10 uniquely furnished bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. The Lodge was purchased four years ago and, whilst used by the Duchess of Rutland and her family as their second home, it is also available as a holiday rental property.

The Duke of Rutland’s ancestors – whose seat is Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire – once owned the nearby Longshaw Estate and Lodge, situated ten miles north of Moscar. However, death duties forced the 9th Duke to sell the estate, which the National Trust now owns. The purchase of Moscar Lodge and grouse moor in 2016 heralded the Rutland family’s return to the Peak District moors after a period of nearly 100 years.

When they acquired the property the building required major work that included updating the wiring and plumbing as well as restoring the roof. The Duchess then began decorating the Lodge. She says, ‘I love working on interiors and I’ve enjoyed every minute of choosing colours, fabrics and collecting furniture from salerooms around the country and raiding attics at Belvoir Castle to bring together a proper working shooting lodge with a touch of elegance. It has been a hugely rewarding experience.’

Elegance and soft moorland tones combine in this area of the drawing roomElegance and soft moorland tones combine in this area of the drawing room

The Duchess took inspiration for the refurbishment of Moscar Lodge from its surrounding landscape by creating an extension of the moor. The Duchess says, ‘All the colours generally use a moorland colour palette. The wallpaper in the drawing room – a long room that spans the whole length of the Lodge – is almost the colour of the grouse moor in winter.’ The furniture in every room has also been carefully chosen by the Duchess to fit in with the moorland colour scheme.

The bedrooms are also inspired by the landscape, not only in design but are named after the various moors nearby and other areas on the estate, including Bamford, Falstone and Moscar.

The Duchess’ favourite room is the Bamford Room, which overlooks the Coach and Horses, an impressive series of weathered gritstone tors in the distance. She says, ‘There is a four-poster bed in there. I used lots of old curtains from the Castle linen room and there is a dark floral colour on the walls. It just feels right. And the bathroom looks over the moor. There’s a wonderful flow.’

There are magnificent views of the surrounding moorland which is on the doorstepThere are magnificent views of the surrounding moorland which is on the doorstep

The Lodge is filled with antiques, furniture and furnishings that each come with their own histories. The Duchess says, ‘I love weaving the past into the present. I love recycling – I don’t throw everything away but put it back together in a different way!’

This includes an old tapestry that has been woven into a bedspread and the top of a curtain pelmet. The Duchess also enjoys going to shows and antique sales, including Lots Road in London where she gathered furniture and other furnishings for Moscar Lodge.

During the refurbishment the Duchess also added a luxury outdoor swimming pool and full-sized tennis court to the property as well as establishing the garden, which she enjoys tending.

From the drawing room guests can walk out onto the terrace where they can sit and enjoy far-reaching views across the moor. However, even when it rains or on winter days when the mist hangs low, there is plenty inside to keep guests occupied with a games room complete with snooker table, cinema and house bar.

The lovely dining room adds a touch of Victorian country house splendour to formal diningThe lovely dining room adds a touch of Victorian country house splendour to formal dining

The refurbishment of Moscar Lodge took just nine months, ensuring it was completed in time for the beginning of the grouse season.

The Duchess says, ‘We love going up there. I adore the tranquillity of Derbyshire. I love going for runs, abseiling down Stanage and the caves. We’re very keen walkers and love going birdwatching. It’s a real joy for us to go and look after the gardens – it’s a little bit of sanctuary for us! I’m absolutely devoted to Derbyshire and absolutely adore Sheffield.’

At Moscar Lodge the Duchess of Rutland has created a residence that is opulent yet elegant, reflecting the ever-changing colours of the moorland through the seasons, and where guests can feel truly spoiled.

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