was a district in the county of Nottinghamshire which was so called because it used to contain four ducal seats close to one another. It is south of the town of Worksop
which has been called The Gateway to the Dukeries. The ducal seats were:
There was a fifth large country house in the Dukeries, Rufford Abbey
, but it was never the seat of a duke. Bestwood Lodge
. a seat of the dukes of St Albans, was also in Nottinghamshire, but over to the south of the core Dukeries area. The Dukeries was remarkable not only for the number of ducal families in proximity to each other, there being at most times fewer than one English ducal family for each two English counties, but also because the parks of the various houses were largely contiguous, rather than being separated from one another by miles of farmland, as is usually the case with the parks of major country houses in England, whether ducal or not.
Welbeck Abbey is the only house that remains in traditional ownership. Until 2005 the abbey was leased to the Ministry of Defence and occupied by the Army Sixth Form College, while the descendants of the last Duke of Portland occupied a secondary house in the park called Welbeck Woodhouse, which was built for the......