Staff at a historic estate are concerned that they may lose their jobs after the 10th Earl of St Germans died and left the property to his 12-year-old grandson. Up to six workers could be at risk of redundancy at the Port Eliot Estate in Cornwall after Savills Rural was employed to manage the property by trustees until teenager Albert, now the 11th Earl, comes of age. Claiming there is “not much seasonal spirit of goodwill among those who run the estate,” he added: “Some of the staff … have been living in tied houses as part of their employment. With no prospects of work in the local area, they will have no ability to provide for their families.”Savills Rural is believed to want to introduce private contractors to carry out the work on an ad hoc basis, with Unite claiming only a head gardener and head of maintenance will be kept on. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The 10th Earl of St Germans, who died in 2016Credit:SWNS.com This is cruel news for the highly skilled and loyal workers at the Port Eliot EstateNick Owen, Unite’s regional officer “Unite will be challenging the so-called business case put forward by Savills Rural and is looking for alternatives to redundancy.” A spokesman for Savills said consultation was still underway and no final decision had been made about redundancy.”Savills is currently conducting a review of all aspects of the estate including costs and expenditure,” he said. “A consultation is under way with a limited number of staff. No decisions will be taken until that process has concluded.”Savills is disappointed with a number of inaccuracies in the Unite statement. Should anyone lose their position as a result of redundancy then they will have the opportunity to continue with their tenancy.” The 6,000-acre estate was passed to him after the late Earl, Peregrine Eliot, lost his battle with cancer in July at the age of 75. His son, Lord Jago Eliot, the estate’s natural heir, was found dead by his wife, a former model, in 2006, having taken a cocktail of drugs. The workers are all thought to be gardeners and maintenance staff, one of whom has been there for 36 years. Unite, a trade union, claimed the staff had not been given formal redundancy notices, but had been told that they are at risk of redundancy. Nick Owen, the union’s regional officer, said the threat of losing their positions and homes had left “grown men in tears”, branding it “a modern form of feudalism”.He said: “This is cruel news for the highly skilled and loyal workers at the Port Eliot Estate and their families in the new year.