“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again,” to borrow from Ms. du Maurier, is my chosen lens through which to view this august home, yet, you may choose to view this home through a more American perspective, from that of Bruce Wayne, as the ashes of Wayne Manor. And, yet, this is Parnham House, a sixteenth century stately home located in the rolling, damp, green, green English countryside of Dorset, which was gutted by a suspicious four day fire in April 2017, leaving the magnificent stone shell of the manor home in ruins, the former owner dead by his own hand, and the need for a new owner and conservator. Melodrama, provenance, and gardens: welcome to Parnham House.
This estate is truly a world unto its own, a direct link to the baronial, despotic realm where titles, shooting parties, and noblesse oblige reign supreme. The thick stone walls, complete with their details fenestration, reveal how deeply intertwined self and place remain in the English imagination—how land is not just land, but everything before and after you, right now, in the present. What a fun, feudal way to interact with the world.
For all the salacious information regarding the fire that ravaged the house, please click here.
Parnham House, when restored and rebuilt in conjunction with both Historic England and the West Dorset DC will include roughly 38,000 square feet of interior space and enjoy 131 acres of grounds. A 3 bedroom Dower House and numerous other habitable remaining buildings dot the estate, providing the new owner a vantage from which to supervise any future restoration endeavors. The estate is currently listed by James McKillop and Luke Pender-Cudlip of Knight Frank for £3,000,000, or roughly $3,852,234.40.
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