Connect with us

Real Estate

How Pursuit of Love author and sisters really were to the manor born

Published

on

There are eccentric, larger-than life aristocrats galore; beautiful girls in flapper dresses, doves dyed in pastel shades, and T. Rex, The Who, Strauss and Haydn on the soundtrack.

Although the new BBC One adaptation of The Pursuit Of Love has divided viewers, Nancy Mitford’s much-loved novel satirising her bizarre upbringing is a glorious feast for the eyes and ears.

The fictional Radlett family are caricatures of the famous Mitford clan: Nancy, Pam, Diana, Unity, Jessica (Decca), Deborah (Debo), their brother Tom (who was killed in Burma in World War II), and their parents, ‘Farve and Muv’ (Lord and Lady Redesdale).

The whip-brandishing Uncle Matthew (Dominic West) is the fictional version of the tyrannical, ‘Farve’, who dismissed anyone he disliked, including foreigners and most of Nancy’s friends as ‘sewers’.

Perhaps the real stars of the show are the sumptuous stately homes where the action takes place. Which is as it should be, because the real homes where the Mitfords lived, loved — and all too often scandalised society — over the years were among the grandest in the land, as ANNABEL VENNING reveals. 

Top of their class (from left): Unity, Tom, Deborah, Diana, Jessica, Nancy and Pam at a hunt at Swinbrook House in 1935

Top of their class (from left): Unity, Tom, Deborah, Diana, Jessica, Nancy and Pam at a hunt at Swinbrook House in 1935

Pictured: The South Façade and Emperor Fountain at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire which was inherited by the Mitfords

Pictured: The South Façade and Emperor Fountain at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire which was inherited by the Mitfords

Pictured: Batsford House in Gloucestershire - a 19th century neo-Tudor mansion

Pictured: Batsford House in Gloucestershire – a 19th century neo-Tudor mansion

Batsford House, Gloucestershire 

What: Mock-Tudor mansion in Batsford Park with five staircases, elaborate gardens and an arboretum.

When: The Mitfords moved there in 1916.

Mitford history: The huge house was perfect for never-ending games of hide-and-seek, but Lord and Lady Redesdale couldn’t afford to run it so they sold it in 1919.

Pictured: Asthall Manor in Oxfordshire - a rambling Jacobean gabled manor house where the Mitford family moved in 1919

Pictured: Asthall Manor in Oxfordshire – a rambling Jacobean gabled manor house where the Mitford family moved in 1919

Asthall Manor, Oxfordshire 

What: Rambling Jacobean gabled manor house amid rolling hills.

When: The Mitford family moved there in 1919. ‘Farve’ had inherited it on his father’s death. The youngest Mitford, Deborah (Debo), who later became the Duchess of Devonshire, was born there.

Mitford history: Asthall is the fictional Alconleigh, the Radlett family home where Uncle Matthew rules the roost in The Pursuit Of Love. It was haunted by ghosts. It also had a library where the children could read undisturbed (Farve disapproved of reading). All the Mitford children adored Asthall.

Pictured: Swinbrook House in Oxfordshire which was also previously owned by the Mitford family who moved here in 1926

Pictured: Swinbrook House in Oxfordshire which was also previously owned by the Mitford family who moved here in 1926

Swinbrook House, Oxfordshire

What: Designed by ‘Farve’ himself, it is a three-storey sprawling, grey, gloomy and very draughty building.

When: They moved there reluctantly in 1926.

Mitford history: They disliked the house, calling it ‘Swinebrook’. As depicted in The Pursuit Of Love, the children escaped the cold by sitting in the airing cupboard, HQ of the Hons Society.

Pictured: 26 Rutland Gate near Harrods in Knightsbridge, London, was the Mitford's London base for the social season

Pictured: 26 Rutland Gate near Harrods in Knightsbridge, London, was the Mitford’s London base for the social season

Rutland Gate, Knightsbridge

What: An elegant stuccoed house near Harrods, the Mitfords’ London base for the social season.

When: They bought it in 1926 but had to rent it out during the 1930s.

Mitford history: In World War II , Nancy opened the house to Jewish refugees. Her anti-Semitic mother, Lady Redesdale, was said to be furious.

Pictured: Chatsworth House's Painted Hall in Derbyshire which Debo the youngest Mitford inherited in 1950

Pictured: Chatsworth House’s Painted Hall in Derbyshire which Debo the youngest Mitford inherited in 1950

Chatsworth house, Derbyshire

What: One of the greatest stately homes in England, with 297 rooms, filled with priceless art.

When: Debo, the youngest Mitford, and her husband Andrew Cavendish inherited it in 1950 when he became the Duke of Devonshire after his older brother was killed in World War II. It has belonged to the Cavendish family since 1549. Debo lived there for more than 50 years.

Mitford history: When Debo first saw it after the war it was ‘sad, dark, cold and dirty’, but she and Andrew set about returning it to its former glory and opening it to the public.

Pictured: Temple de la Gloire located in Paris which Diana and her Second husband, Oswald Mosley, bought in 1950

Pictured: Temple de la Gloire located in Paris which Diana and her Second husband, Oswald Mosley, bought in 1950

Temple de la Gloire, Paris  

What: A Palladian-style folly, ‘the Temple of Glory’ was part of the Château d’Orsay, 15 miles from Paris, built for a 19thcentury military hero.

When: Diana and her second husband, Oswald Mosley, the Fascist leader, bought it in 1950.

Mitford History: An empty shell when they moved in, Diana restored it. The Mosleys became friends with their neighbours, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who had a shared admiration of Hitler.

Pictured: Tullamaine Castle in Tipperary - a 19th century, eight-bedroom propery where Pam lived in the 1940s and 1950s

Pictured: Tullamaine Castle in Tipperary – a 19th century, eight-bedroom propery where Pam lived in the 1940s and 1950s

Tullamaine Castle, Tipperary

What: A 19th-century, eight- bedroom castle.

When: Pam lived there in the 1940s and 1950s with her husband, Derek Jackson.

Mitford history: Pam married Jackson — a physicist and amateur jockey, and heir to millions — in 1936. They moved to Ireland after the war. After the marriage broke down — Derek was a bisexual womaniser who married six times in all — Pamela stayed on as a tenant for eight years.

Pictured: Biddesden House in Wiltshire which was once built for one of the 1st Duke of Marlborough's generals

Pictured: Biddesden House in Wiltshire which was once built for one of the 1st Duke of Marlborough’s generals

Biddesden House, Wiltshire/Hampshire

What: A Queen Anne baroque house built for one of the 1st Duke of Marlborough’s generals — who is said to haunt it.

When: Diana lived there with first husband Bryan Guinness, later the 2nd Baron Moyne and heir to the Guinness brewing fortune, whom she married in 1929.

Mitford history: Diana and Bryan held a ball there in 1932 at which she danced all night with her lover, British Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley. She left Bryan for him months later. Biddesden still belongs to the Guinness family.

 

Source link

Real Estate

New-build flats with communal work-from-home space are just the job 

Published

on

Whether it’s perching computers on ironing boards or struggling to find a peaceful corner in the chaos of a noisy family house, most of us have had to adapt our homes over the past 18 months.

But as the trend for flexible working looks set to continue, a new concept in housing is gaining traction.

Work from home (WFH) developments with a ‘hub’ shared by other residents are popping up across the country.

Modern living: Work from home developments with a 'hub' shared by other residents, which aim to retain the social aspect of office life, are popping up across the country

Modern living: Work from home developments with a ‘hub’ shared by other residents, which aim to retain the social aspect of office life, are popping up across the country

‘The hub is a way of retaining the social aspect of office life,’ says Karly Williams, director of Barratt North Thames. ‘Being close to home enables residents to manage domestic issues, while mixing with others staves off any sense of loneliness and alienation.’

At Barratt’s Linmere development in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire, which is due to launch in December, the office hub will be surrounded by cafes, shops and green outdoor space.

WFH residents won’t feel they are missing out on the coffee breaks and sandwich lunches they used to enjoy as part of conventional office life. Barratt’s co-working offices and homes are priced from £101,000 to £439,500.

WFH developments can also be effective in regenerating rural areas where unemployment is a problem.

In the village of Lawrenny in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, planning permission has just been granted to a local farmer, David Lort-Phillips, to build a WFH development of 39 homes with shared offices. 

Lawrenny has been in steady decline since the 1980s and until recently looked like becoming little more than a cluster of holiday homes.

‘A village should be more than that; it should be a place to earn a living and to have a busy family life,’ says Lort-Phillips. ‘Many of the new WFH houses will be bought by people returning to Lawrenny, having been brought up here.

‘They will put back into the community, using local businesses and training up local young people.’

Prices of the new homes will range from £300,000 to £500,000 for two to four bedrooms, with management fees of £400 per annum.

One danger of building this kind of development in the countryside is that the new homes will jar architecturally with older, nearby properties. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

Galion Homes builds its developments in Somerset with home-workers in mind, so all the homes have offices with superfast broadband as well as nearby hubs and cafes.

‘We won’t be ugly “tack-ons” to villages,’ says Victoria Creber, sales director at Galion. ‘We build developments of no more than 50 homes, at low density, using local stone with a big nod to the local vernacular.’

Disturbing research, based on figures from the Office for National Statistics, was published recently showing 25 per cent of WFH Londoners said they had suffered reduced well-being.

Fizzy Living, which targets its rental apartments at young professionals with an average age of 32 and earning £44,000 a year, tries to make life as stress-free as possible in its East 16 block in Canning Town. 

The scheme comprises 292 apartments, each with its own balcony. Amenities include a meeting room, residents’ lounge, games area and yoga studio.

It claims to be the most pet-friendly building in London, having a specially designed dog washroom (known as the Pawder Room) and it offers a pet-friendly furniture pack for the more delinquent cats and dogs.

‘This block works for me because I can use different spaces for different activities and this combats stress,’ says designer Asher Peruscini, 37, from San Francisco.

‘I use my desk when I’m in design mode, the balcony for more creative stuff and the meeting rooms downstairs for socialising.’ Rentals are from £1,430 pcm.

For those who appreciate the zany side of life, Quintain Living has built The Robinson, a collection of three apartment blocks at Wembley Park in North-West London, in what its describes as ‘retro kitsch’ style.

Each building has a roof terrace where there are surreal delights such as a giant orange-shaped juice bar, a 50-yard row of sun loungers — reputedly the longest in Britain — and a slide that runs down to a courtyard in the floor below.

The WFH component isn’t forgotten — high-speed wifi is found in converted campervans on the terrace.

To de-stress, there is even a rentable spa caravan with a hot tub. From £1,755 furnished; £1,670 unfurnished.

Are WFH developments here to stay?

‘I don’t think working from home will ever replace the buzz of a team of people working towards one goal in the same office,’ says Harry Downes, managing director of Fizzy Living.

‘But I do foresee people being given the freedom to work at home when they need to, reporting into the office only to be kept updated on the bigger picture. It’s a new lifestyle and this type of development caters for it.’ 

On the market… with office space 

Source link

Continue Reading

Real Estate

South Africa 17 Lions 22

Published

on

15 Stuart Hogg

Something of a flip-flop in terms of his strengths as a player as one or two misplaced passes in attack but resolute and solid in defence. A couple of glimpses of his footwork and pace but he’ll be hoping for more ball next Saturday. Rating: 6

14 Anthony Watson

He was excellent in the first half, the Lions most potent force in attack in being able to escape multiple tacklers, albeit most of the time in lifting pressure in his own 22/half. The ball didn’t run his way after the interval. Rating: 7

13 Elliot Daly

It was his first game at outside centre in Test rugby in five years and it showed. He gave away a couple of penalties, missed his trademark long-range penalty, was bested physically in the collisions and will be under pressure to retain his place. Rating: 5

Robbie Henshaw is tackled by Elton Jantjies. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Robbie Henshaw is tackled by Elton Jantjies. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

12 Robbie Henshaw

Shaded his physical duel with Damian de Allende, carried aggressively, was accurate in the tackle and scrambled well, highlighted by forcing a crucial knock-on from Lukhanyo Am. He made one fine break albeit losing possession and a couple of finger-tip knocks-on but generally good. Rating: 7

11 Duhan van der Merwe

A couple of snapshots of his power in the tackle but like Watson was never given the type of ball where he could impose his strength. He didn’t have many questions to answer in defence because Cheslin Kolbe got very little ball. Rating: 6

10 Dan Biggar

The Welsh outhalf kicked 14 points from the tee and in a general sense, one pulled place-kick aside, his kicking game was reasonably well directed. He didn’t really bring his backline into play at any stage, suffocated by the Boks’ defensive press but overall the ledger was appreciably positive. Rating: 7


The British & Irish Lions

Full coverage of all the action in South Africa READ MORE

9 Ali Price

He looked a little overwhelmed by the pace and physicality in the first 20 minutes but he gradually settled to the task. It was his excellent box-kicking after the restart that yielded opportunities for the Lions to regain possession and wrest control. Rating: 7

1 Rory Sutherland

A late call-up to the starting team due to Wyn Jones’s unavailability he was pinged twice at the scrum and the fact that his replacement Mako Vunipola made an appreciable difference when introduced could see him struggle to be in the matchday 23 next Saturday. Rating: 5

2 Luke Cowan-Dickie

Two errant lineouts, one overthrown the other crooked, were the only real blemishes on his try-scoring performance that was accompanied by a high work-rate on both sides of the ball. Rating: 6

Tadhg Furlong appeals to referee Nic Berry during the first Test. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images
Tadhg Furlong appeals to referee Nic Berry during the first Test. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

3 Tadhg Furlong

Loves a good celebration from the lineout maul tries, he won an important scrum penalty and was an important buffer in that set-piece when the Boks chased dominance there. He carried and tackled with typical application in a robust performance over the 67 minutes. Rating: 7

4 Maro Itoje

Deserved man-of-the-match, three turnovers in the first half alone including one within a few metres of the Lions’ line that saved a try. Immense in every facet of the game, he led by example especially in defence; intelligent and unrelenting. Rating: 9

5 Alun Wyn Jones (capt)

He was very quiet in the first half but considering the injury from which he has recovered that was to be expected. He was a key figure in the Lions’ second-half revival that included work-rate and decision-making. Rating: 7

6 Courtney Lawes

A huge performance in all aspects of the game, out of touch, carrying, making an eye-catching break that took him through three attempted tackles as a pre-cursor to one of his side’s better attacking moments. Tackled with authority. Rating: 8

7 Tom Curry

There could be no faulting his desire and work ethic but in conceding three penalties he demonstrated an impetuous streak that proved a bit of a handicap to his team in that opening half. His place will be under threat. Rating: 5

8 Jack Conan

He provided illustrations of the many qualities that he brings to a team, making one of two line breaks, defending and tackling with intelligence and carried the ball more than any other Lions player. Rating: 7

Replacements

In a collective sense they, to a man, added energy and momentum at a crucial stage. Mako Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler gave their team a rock solid scrum, forcing a penalty there to boot. Hamish Watson was lucky to avoid a card for a dangerous tackle. Conor Murray and Owen Farrell brought control and maturity for the most part. Rating: 8

Coach

Warren Gatland deserves great credit for the team selection initially as most of the big calls that he made work out superbly. His half-time recalibration of tactics and focus worked a treat as did the timing of the replacements. He’s never been afraid to change things up and that may be reflected in a couple of changes for the second Test one of which could see Bundee Aki drafted in at 12 with Henshaw moving to 13. Rating: 8

Source link

Continue Reading

Real Estate

Norfolk’s Hemsby tops the list of villages with the biggest house prices

Published

on

Seaside sun… rises! Norfolk’s Hemsby leads villages with the biggest property value boom as buyers search for coastal countryside views

  • Norfolk’s Hemsby tops the list of villages with the biggest house price increases
  • The average value of a home in Hemsby is up 22% during the past year
  • Three of the top five villages with the biggest price increases are in Norfolk

Britain’s village hotspots for homebuyers have been revealed and dominating the list are seaside locations.

The pandemic has seen a ‘race for space’ with people living in cities moving to rural and coastal areas due to more flexible working practices.

They are shunning busy city landscapes for open green spaces in the countryside and easy access to expansive sea views.

Britain's village hotspots for homebuyers have been revealed by property website Rightmove

Britain’s village hotspots for homebuyers have been revealed by property website Rightmove

This four-bedroom house in Hemsby is on the market for £300,000 via Bycroft estate agents

This four-bedroom house in Hemsby is on the market for £300,000 via Bycroft estate agents

Hemsby, just north of Great Yarmouth, tops the rankings produced by Rightmove, having seen the biggest rise in average house prices during the past year.

The typical value of a home in the Norfolk village has increased 22 per cent in the 12 months from June last year, from £221,533 to £270,144.

Three of the top five villages with the biggest house prices increases were in Norfolk, with Heacham and Caister-On-Sea also making the list.

Heacham saw asking prices increase by 20 per cent in June 2021 compared to the same period last year, while asking prices in Caister-On-Sea rose by 12 per cent.

Caister-On-Sea also saw one of the biggest rises in demand for villages, with buyer demand up 46 per cent in June 2021 compared to June 2020. Average asking prices in Caister-On-Sea are £240,909.

David Lowes, of estate agents Mr & Mrs Clark in Norfolk, said: ‘With a general “escape to the country” desire prevalent for many, the rural county of Norfolk is in high demand.

‘With its 90 odd miles of varied coastline, the added possibility of a “next-to-the-sea” lifestyle, and the simple pleasure of a stunning sunrise or sunset means the coastal villages are of particular attraction.’

Heacham saw asking prices increase by 20 per cent in the year to June 2021, says Rightmove

Heacham saw asking prices increase by 20 per cent in the year to June 2021, says Rightmove 

This four-bedroom house in Heacham is for sale for £475,000 via Sowerbys estate agents

This four-bedroom house in Heacham is for sale for £475,000 via Sowerbys estate agents

He added: ‘Hemsby and Caister in the east and Heacham in the west of the county offer some of the more affordable options thus driving strong percentage price growth. 

‘Each of these villages are close to larger towns too which helps with the transition to the countryside in terms of availability of amenities and activities.’

Rightmove defined demand as the number of enquiries it had via emails and calls to agents via its website. 

Average prices percentage increases in these villages appear to be around three times as much elsewhere. But this may be affected by villages having lower stock and fewer transactions. 

The average price of a home in Britain increased 6 per cent during the past year to June, from £317,058 to £336,073, according to Rightmove.

This four-bedroom house in Caister-on-sea is for sale for £400,000 via Bycroft estate agents

This four-bedroom house in Caister-on-sea is for sale for £400,000 via Bycroft estate agents

Rightmove revealed that six out of the top 10 villages with the biggest annual price growth in June are near the sea. House price growth in all of these villages rose at a higher rate than the national average.

Rightmove’s Tim Bannister said: ‘During the past year, we’ve spoken a lot about the changes we’re seeing in where people are choosing to live, and this data shows continued demand from buyers looking for villages and rural locations outside of traditional major cities.

‘While we have seen signs that cities are starting to make a steady comeback, particularly in the rental market, price growth across all areas of Britain continues to be strong.

‘With the summer weather finally here, we’re seeing an added drive from buyers looking for that perfect village location by the sea, which is supporting price growth in these areas.’

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!