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Ragley to star in special Christmas BBC 1 Countryfile episode

18th December 2012 Print

Ragley, Warwickshire’s most stunning stately home, is set to star in the BBC1 Countryfile Christmas special which will air on Sunday 23 December to over 8 million viewers. The episode will look at how Christmas is celebrated at a privately owned country estate and the work that goes into preparing for the staff Christmas party. The BBC approached around 20 country estates around the UK but selected Ragley in which to base their programme on.

The crew and presenters, which included Ellie Harrison, Julia Bradbury, John Craven, Tom Heap and Matt Baker, spent three days filming at Ragley in late November. The majority of the filming took place inside the Hall with the Hertford family and staff, showing the Hall being decorated and the food being prepared for the Christmas party. However the crew also spent time at the Sawmill to film Ragley’s log, woodchip and Christmas tree production, the farm to see the sheep being moved and housed by the Shepherd and at Ragley Estate Meats to show the Butchers at work.

The Christmas Special will also include a piece on two local country houses which are not as successful as Ragley and look at how Ragley and the Hertford family have made the estate into a thriving family home and business. The episode will also show the Alcester Male Voice Choir performing at the party and there is footage of Wheethley Church in Alcester as the Ragley Sawmill delivered a Christmas tree to the Church.

During the Christmas party, Chris Gardner, a member of staff, was awarded for his long service. Chris celebrates his 40th year having started work at Ragley in March 1972. Chris currently works in the Sawmill but has had various roles throughout this period. Alan Granger, the Chief Executive, made a speech during the party and presented Chris with an engraved tankard.

Emma Maguire, Commercial Manager said: “We were delighted that the BBC chose Ragley to feature in their Christmas Special. The estate is always extremely busy in the run up to Christmas with decorating the Hall and playing host to numerous parties and events so it was a great opportunity to showcase Ragley during this special festive time”.

For more information on Ragley, visit

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