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 NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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CRISIS AT THE CASTLE + Secrets of the Manor House + Secrets of Highclere Castle
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Athena
  • DVD Release Date: August 21, 2012
  • Run Time: 177 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0083HXKE0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,388 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • 12-page viewer’s guide with a map and articles on historic preservation guidelines, gardens of the estates, and unconventional ways to save stately homes
  • Stories of Stately Homes
  • Discussion questions and more at
SDH subtitles

Due to filming conditions, there are some sound anomalies that were beyond our ability to correct.

Editorial Reviews

"Intimate insight into the lives of Britain’s landed classes" —The Observer (U.K.)
"Entertaining" —The Daily Mail (U.K.)

Three grand homes—three big headaches

"Beautifully realized peek at the shabby-chic lives of…the upper echelons of British society" —The Sunday Times (U.K.)

These historic houses have stood for centuries. But will they survive the next generation? The owners of three magnificent examples of British architecture—Sudeley Castle, Burton Court, and Kelburn Castle—are faced with pivotal decisions about how to preserve the family home in the face of crumbling infrastructures, fading public attention, and exponentially rising expenses.

A dramatic exposé of the challenges facing the aristocratic inheritors of grand properties and crippling debt, Crisis at the Castle takes a behind-the-tapestry look at the realities of castle ownership. From small maintenance tasks that snowball into calamities to steadfast resistance from elders, watch as the sons and daughters of these ancestral homes take stewardship of their legacy, setting new plans in motion to preserve these houses for future generations.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Save-the-Castle Reality TV documentary July 12, 2012
A close look at three British castles that are at a deciding point. Can they be saved and kept in the family? Can business/event uses provide adequate income to meet the rinsing costs of upkeep? The families living in the structures bear their stories and lives to show the world that living in a crumbling castle is not all it's cracked-up to be. It's presented almost like unique form of reality TV. Middle-class aristocratic owners are shown in a new form of "Extreme Makeover." How to Avoid Castle Bankruptcy 101. There is an older TV series that fictionally presented something similar: "Monarch of the Glen" (recommended).

SUBTITLES available for all 3 different castle episodes.
1. Sudley Castle
120,000 annual visitors dropped to 50,000 as the castle was closed, only a visitor's center open. The family needs income to survive, and with two contemporary generations living under one (large) roof there is tension. Lady Ashcombe (a former Kentuckian) refuses to honor the 2002 turnover agreement of castle authority. Mother, daughter, and son have different venues for saving the castle, and the conflict increases as the roof leaks and other aspects deteriorate. The castle's CEO is caught between 3 rocks and a hard place.

2 Burton Court
Herefordshire locale sports a 14th century great hall: costumes and taxidermy museum. Artifacts outnumber paying visitors. It's the home of the Simpson's. Newly promoted as an upscale wedding site, son Edward, the single staffer, qualifies for the government dole. A testy time for Eddie and his aged parents. The strawberry crop is even less successful than weddings.

3 Kelburn Castle
Patrick Boyle, aged 10th Earl of Glasgow, is half a million in debt over the Scotland estate.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Castles in crisis? January 12, 2013
By K. Wood
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Who would have thought a castle owner wouod have difficulties. They never cover that part in fairy tales. These are interesting stories about he challenges of living in something others want to walk through. The stories also cover the challenges imposed by family issues in dealing with the castle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting July 30, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It was interesting to see the interiors of these historic castles, what it takes to maintain them, and how clueless some of the owners are.
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Castle Howard, featured in "Brideshead Revisited", had a £40,000 annual heating bill, only the start of the enormous expense of upkeeping a great house. It's no wonder that so many castles and manors have gone to hotels or given to the nation, rather than kept as family estates. The "Crisis at the Castle" series is a great inside look at three families struggling to keep their estates for the next generation.

And when I write "inside look", I mean Inside Look. The cameras follow family and staff around and views are candidly given and stresses are candidly shown. All three of the estates shown have had to go the wedding/corporate party route, with varying degrees of resignation, energy and helpfulness. Always, the roof leaks.

This is a one-disc 2012 DVD, with English subtitles available. There's 177 minutes of interesting viewing, even if sometimes it feels like a guilty pleasure, like watching a train wreck. The only bonus extras on the DVD is "Stories of Stately Homes", written "biographies" of four other great homes, or their ghosts.

You also get a a Viewer's Guide, a 9 page booklet that describes what's involved in Listing your stately home with English Heritage, titled "When Your Home IS Your Castle". Next is a section titled "Going Unconventional", which shows how five stately homes have found their niche with unusual revenue streams. Muncaster Castle, for example, is "hailed as one of the most haunted places in England", and it markets itself as such. Eastnor Castle holds a popular mud-running competition, where athletes compete over a course that is "gleefully advertised as 'slop, slime, and filth'." Lastly, the booklet has a section on Gardens, and how the three estates shown in the DVD have used their extensive gardens as a tourist draw.
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