Friday, March 14, 2008


Big problem--- if I have a "Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon" but it doesn't have anything to do with Kevin Bacon, does it still count.

1. Friends (Wendell & Judy and Janean & Amy), all in England at the same time.
2. Janean & Amy come to spend a couple of days with us on their way to Scotland.
3. We go for a walk to hamlet of Wentworth and stumble upon the Manor House "Wentworth Woodhouse" (which Wendell and I had previously missed about 10 times). Lots of workman there and "NO" we can't visit the house "as it has just changed owners" and "NO, they don't think they would be interested in a Home Exchange." But it looks so interesting and no one will tell us who just bought it.
It's proported to be the largest "private residence" in England.
4. 8 years later Judy picks up a book at Oceanside Library called "Fortune Hunters and the Men they Marry", and it mentions the "Majordomo" (person who runs the house) of one of the more notorious couples and the book he wrote about the experience.
5. Judy buys 2 of his books on Amazon and as he introduces himself in the first book and he starts talking about a house in England that had been in his family for 400 years and where he spent weekends with his owner/grandparents when home from boarding school.
6. Judy gets out of bed and fires up computer again to check out the name and location of house because it sounds familiar and sure enough ---he grew up in this house.
7. Close the loop and call Janean and tell her we finally know who owned the house--at least until 1969 when his family sold it. It was sold again in 1999 for 1.5 million Euro's and the renovating was an additional ?million Euros.
Update: In 1989 house was in poor state of repair and was bought by Wensley Grosvenor Haydon-Baillie who started the restoration. His business went south and a Swiss Bank repossessed it. In 1998 it was bought by an architect from Highgate named Clifford Newbold. (Thought for sure it was Madonna or Elton John.)


Katherines Dream said...

Phew....I had to read that a couple of times, no!
I need to get out more....I do enjoy a trip round a grand house.
Carol xx

Tinastadt said...

My ex-husband and myself worked for Mr. Haydon-Baillie at Wentworth Woodhouse, before which we had a number of years with Rotherham Council when the Stately Home was called, Old Lady Mabel College.

Mr. Haydon-Baillie had such plans for the place, and during his time there there was a lot of activity, but unfortunately not a lot of real action.

We lived through good times and had hoped for more, but with the downturn in Mr. Haydon-Baillies' fortunes, the house began to suffer.

I sincerely hope that someone, somewhere, will take the house on and restore it to its former glory, because it certainly deserves it, and then perhaps we can all see and admire a beautiful, proud, English Stateley Home.

Neil Downing said...

Wentworth Woodhouse, what a great House, as i was a kid i would visit, this is the most beautiful Englist Stateley House ever!
Iam very proud to live very close, as i walk past with the dog, i only wish i could win the lottery.
This is to you Mr Clifford Newbold,
If at any time you would like to share the house, give me a ring
Neil Downing