A country house was traditionally the centrepiece of an estate usually absorbing huge amounts of money in running costs and improvements. This model was sustainable when the estate or other source was sufficient to provide the necessary income but today often a family can inherit a large house with all the costs but not the means to fully maintain it.
In another example of the diversification that has allowed so many of our country estates to survive, aristocratic families are now offering the chance for those willing to pay from £1,000 per day to experience life as it is for those lucky enough to live in these beautiful homes. A Suffolk firm, ‘More than Good Manners‘ arranges these luxury stays with an emphasis sharing in some of the best country pursuits in houses such as Sennowe Park, the grand Edwardian family home of Thomas Cook and his descendants.
Some may complain that these are a devaluation of the grandeur of the country houses and the families who live there. However it could be argued that there is a long tradition of these houses hosting visitors for gain when years ago the monarch would be lavishly entertained in hope that honours or privileges would be bestowed on the hosts. This modern twist on the theme sees income being provided in a way which doesn’t greatly increase the wear and tear on the fabric of the house and is largely in keeping with the original purpose of the house as a centre for leisure.
Full story: ‘Take a break – with an aristocratic family‘ [Eastern Daily Press]