Lord and Lady March were assaulted and then left tied up by the robber who made off with thousands of pounds worth of precious jewellery.
Lady March disturbed the burglar and was pushed before he struck Lord March on the head, police said, describing it as a ‘frightening ordeal’.
The couple were only released when a member of staff arrived for work at 6.30am and phoned police.
A large amount of jewellery, including historic heirlooms worth more than £700,000, were taken during the break-in at Goodwood House around 4.30am on Wednesday, January 13.
In releasing the new information about the raid, detective inspector Till Sanderson said: “This was a frightening ordeal and I pay tribute to the courage of Lord and Lady March.
“The intruder broke in after scaling a ladder to an upstairs window, and his activity disturbed Lady March, who went to investigate.
“She disturbed the man, who was alone, and he pushed her and struck Lord March on the head, causing an injury to his ear.
“Lady March was then forced to open a safe and the man helped himself to jewellery. The couple were bound before the robber escaped with the items.”
Detectives are continuing their nationwide appeal for information.
DI Sanderson said: “They are devastated at the loss of these treasured items, many of which are irreplaceable.
“We are making a nationwide appeal in a bid for information and to trace stolen jewellery.
“Forensic teams are working with detectives to investigate the circumstances and we are appealing for anyone who saw any suspicious activity during that night up until 7am or in the previous week to contact us.
“We are doing all we can try to trace the stolen treasures, liaising with auction houses, stately homes, dealers and those with specialist knowledge.
“I am appealing to anyone who may know anything to contact detectives on 101 quoting Operation Forster or alternatively you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).”
The historic items, with huge sentimental value, include an 1820 diamond tiara, worth in the region of £400,000; an antique diamond necklace from the first half of the 19th century, worth in the region of £200,000; and an emerald intaglio and diamond ring from 1800, engraved with Duchess’s coronet and monogram CL for Louise de Keroualle, mistress of Charles II.
More than 40 items were stolen including emerald, diamond and sapphire rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces as well as antique Rolex and Girard Perregaux watches.
Chichester district commander Chief Inspector Justin Burtenshaw added: “This was clearly a frightening ordeal but I would like to pay tribute to Lady and Lord March for their bravery both during the incident and subsequently with us.”
A 26-year-old man from Hampshire has been arrested on suspicion of robbery and has been bailed until February while investigations continue.
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