Tag Archives: Dumbleton

Views of Dumbleton Church

Thank you to Brooke Rozorio for sending me these recent shots of Dumbleton church to share with you all.

I’m speechless!

Dumbleton from Miles 1

Miles Fenton who is Paddy’s nephew has commented about the house and is not happy with what has been done to it.

What have they done to the interior? Gutted it? I’m speechless!
And, as for the short back and sides to the exterior, all charm savagely removed.
So sad.

He sent me some pictures of how things used to be on the outside.

Dumbleton from Miles 2

Paddy’s house at Dumbleton up for sale again

Paddy's former home in Dumbleton

Paddy’s former home in Dumbleton

The Mill House at Dumbleton which was home to Paddy and Joan in the UK is up for sale again.

Set in idyllic countryside, the house was sold by his estate following his death in 2011, and is back on the market for £1.8m. It looks to have been extensively refurbished. Interestingly the guide price last time was £2.5m.

Some details here.

Happy times at Dumbleton

Some memories of Paddy at Dumbleton sent to me by Tim Todd and Alun Davies. The group is involved in finding out more about the Kreipe kidnap and especially the route used during the escape.

As Alun says … ‘A fond memory of Paddy from the time we lunched with him in 2005. I attach with this two photos taken in the garden that day – the 8th August 2005. The group shot shows from L-R John Ellis-Roberts, Richard Cowper, Chris Paul, PLF and Tim Todd.’

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Patrick Leigh Fermor’s estate auctioned by Christie’s: A Life’s Collection

The auction house Christies will present the principal contents of Mill Farm, Dumbleton for auction at their sale rooms at 85 Old Brompton Road  London, Greater London SW7 3LD, on Tuesday 15 May 2012.

The collection includes furniture, books, silverware, and many works of art. How many of these were collected by Joan and Paddy, and which came from their families is difficult to assess.

You can view the e-catalogue here.

Remember that you don’t have to be present to buy but can bid on-line as described in the catalogue. I hope that some of you have the opportunity to make a purchase.

Estate of Dumbleton travel writer Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor could fetch £150,000

THE estate of travel writer and extraordinary war hero Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor is set to fetch £150,000 at auction.

Sir Patrick died in June 2011, aged 96, and now the first 100 lots of his estate, Mill Farm in Dumbleton, will go under the hammer in May.

It will include decorative objects, books, furniture, modern British and old master pictures, as well as silver objects.

Sir Patrick was a travel writer, who was most famous for his account of his year-long walk from Rotterdam to Istanbul in 1934, when he was 18 years old.

The journey was later published in his popular books A Time of Gifts (1977), and Between the Woods and the Water (1986).

He lived in caves in the mountains of Crete disguised as a shepherd during the Nazi occupation from 1941.

In 1944 he and fellow writer Bill Stanley Moss avoided capture by dressing as German police officers and bluffing their way through 22 different check-points.

After the war, Sir Patrick journeyed around Greece with his wife Joan, devoting much of his time to writing and staying with his artistic and creative friends, including the artist Nico Ghika.

Both Sir Patrick and Joan were very sociable personalities, and some of their many eminent friends and admirers included Alberto Giacometti, Lawrence Durrell, John Betjeman, Lucian Freud and Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, many of whom frequently visited The Mill House where they shared and cultivated a love for the arts.

The auction, at Christie’s in South Kensington, is on May 15. Edit – I can’t find anything specifc on the Christie’s site so I advise contacting them.

From This is Gloucestershire

Paddy’s Gloucestershire home for sale for £2.5m

I am trying to obtain a better copy, but here is a scan from today’s Sunday Times property section, of an article about the sale of Paddy and Joan’s house in Dumbleton.

It does in in fact focus on his house in Kardamyli (which it correctly says is going to the Benaki) but it is trying to highlight, as these sections do, that the house in Dumbelton is for sale for £2,500,000. Property particulars from Right Move and a full brochure on the Strutt & Parker website.

Joan Leigh Fermor – Obituary from Daily Telegraph

Published: 12:00AM BST 05 Jul 2003

Joan Leigh Fermor, who has died aged 91, created a remarkable house in southern Greece with her husband, the writer Patrick Leigh Fermor, which attracted a host of distinguished figures from the literary and social spheres.

Joan Leigh Fermor was a noted beauty, with a ready gift for company and a sharp intelligence; her friends and admirers included Maurice Bowra, Cyril Connolly, Stephen Spender, Giacometti, Lawrence Durrell, and what sometimes seemed like almost every figure from the literary and scholarly worlds who gathered around the Mediterranean after the Second World War. She was also one of the most distinguished amateur photographers of her generation, and provided the illustrations for several of her husband’s books.

Patrick Leigh Fermor’s Mani (1958), an account of his travels with his wife in the southern Peloponnese, was illustrated with Joan’s photographs; eight years later, the couple produced Roumeli, devoted to the north of the country. In addition, Patrick Leigh Fermor’s Three Letters from the Andes (1991), an account of his mountaineering expedition 20 years earlier, were addressed to his wife. They provided a picture of the gentleman traveller, stoical in the face of all hardships (other than the preparation of a hard-boiled egg at altitude).

Joan Elizabeth Eyres Monsell was born on February 5 1912 at Dumbleton, Gloucestershire. Her father was Bolton Eyres Monsell, the Tory MP for South Worcestershire who went on to become Chief Whip and First Lord of the Admiralty before being created Viscount Monsell in 1935. He had added the name Eyres on his marriage to his wife (Caroline Mary) Sybil, who was lady of the manor and patroness of the living at Dumbleton.

Joan was educated at St James’s, Malvern, and at finishing schools in Paris and Florence. Afterwards she became keen on photography, concentrating – on the advice of her friend John Betjeman – on architectural studies. The first among these were published in Architecture Review; she went on to become a contributor to Horizon.

On the outbreak of war, Joan Monsell became a nurse, and also took photographs of architectural sites which were thought vulnerable to bombing. She then joined the cypher departments of the British embassies in Madrid, Algiers and then Cairo, where she became friendly with Lawrence Durrell, Robin Fedden and Charles Johnston, and where she met Patrick Leigh Fermor. From Cairo, she managed to escape on leave in order to travel in Kurdistan, before moving to Athens, where she became secretary to the cartoonist Osbert Lancaster.

Joan Leigh Fermor was passionately fond of cats, eight of which were settled about her her bed on her last morning. She was also addicted to chess, and kittens were reprimanded only if they had the temerity to muddle the pieces. She was accommodating, too, of her husband’s derring-do – though she watched him swim the Hellespont (at the age of 69) “sitting on her hands so as not to wring them”.

She died on June 4 after a fall in the Mani, where she and her husband had settled nearly half a century before, living in tents while constructing their home. The house, centred on a great room full of books (and often also music), stands on a wild peninsula on the southernmost tip of Greece, looking out on olive groves and cypresses toward the sea, against a backdrop of mountains. There the Leigh Fermors entertained many visitors, plying them with large quantities of wine and the sea-green olive oil from their own trees.

She married, first, in 1939, John Rayner, features editor of the Daily Express; but the match did not survive the war, and was dissolved in 1947. She married Patrick Leigh Fermor in 1968.

Billa Harrod writes: Joan and I met when we were both 18 and remained great friends for more than 70 years. Neither of us was quite the sort of daughter our mothers would have hoped for (luckily they had others). We were very lucky in our backgrounds of big comfortable houses – which we did not always treat as well as we should have, once breaking off an arm of a dignified candelabrum at Dumbleton. (Though when Joan’s father was First Lord of the Admiralty and they lived at Admiralty House in Whitehall, we did appreciate the beautiful fish furniture.)

Joan had more money than most of her friends and was quietly but largely generous when she saw that it would be helpful. She was beautiful and elegant, and also a highbrow, who had the highest standards, and did not suffer fools gladly. Although her actual schooling was rather feeble, she had read a vast amount and had an excellent memory. Music and literature were her real interests, but she was also a superb cook, and taught others to be. The food in her various houses was always delicious.