In this, the final in our series looking at fictional character addresses, we take a look at the home of Lord and Lady Bellamy and then the Holland family from the two TV series of Upstairs Downstairs.

The first five series, which ran from 1971-1975, followed the lives of the somewhat ill-fated Bellamy family and spanned the period from the early 1900s until 1930.

The second, short-lived, incarnation, which the first series of which aired on the BBC only a couple of years ago before the second in 2012 (after which it was cancelled), picked up the story six years later.

It follows the lives of the Hollands, who take up residence in what had been the Bellamy’s residence at 165 Eaton Place in Belgravia (Jean Marsh, one of the original show’s creators who played head parlour maid Rose in the original series, returned as housekeeper – the only original cast member in the newer series).

There is an actual Eaton Place in Belgravia but it doesn’t go up to number 165. The original series used a house located at 65 Eaton Place for exterior shots (they added a 1 to the front of the 65 although no interiors were shot here) although the newer series apparently used a property based in Leamington Spa.

The property at 65 Eaton Place, meanwhile, was apparently part of a development built in 1824 by renowned builder Thomas Cubitt on the orders of the 2nd Marquess of Westminster, Richard Grosvenor.

Among the many real residents over the years (when the property was no longer used as a single home but had been divided into flats) was the rather scandalous Lady Alexandra Metcalfe, youngest daughter of Lord Curzon, a former Foreign Secretary and Viceroy of India.

We’ll launch a new special series next Wednesday.

This spectacular 14th century moated castle in East Sussex looks every bit the medieval fortress it was built to be. Yet at the same time, Bodiam was built as a residence with the comfort of its residents in mind.

The building of the castle took place in the latter part of the 14th century when in 1385 Sir Edward Dalyngrigge – an influential knight of Sussex – decided to put to use some of the booty he had amassed fighting in France and build the castle on an elevated position overlooking the River Rother – ostensibly to help repel any French who dared to invade (a very real threat – it was only eight years before that Rye had been burned to the ground, see our earlier entry here) – but no doubt also to enhance his own status.

Having obtained royal permission to “crenellate”, Sir Edward, who had obtained the Manor of Bodiam through his wife, set about the construction of the castle which featured rather simple defences including a moat and single perimeter wall studded with four corner round towers and a massive gatehouse (which still contains an original wooden portcullis).

The castle remained in the family until the Wars of the Roses when Sir Thomas Lewknor surrendered the castle to Yorkist forces having himself being attainted for treason by King Richard III for his support of the Lancastrian cause.

But the castle returned to the family after the accession of King Henry VII, eventually passing into the hands of the Earls of Thanet before, in 1644, it was sold to one Nathaniel Powell, a supporter of the Parliamentarian forces in the Civil War, so the then owner – Sir John Tufton, the second earl and a Royalist – could pay fines levied upon him by Parliament.

It is believed that it was after this that the castle was substantially dismantled and by the mid-eighteenth century it was depicted as an ivy-clad ruin.

It then passed through numerous private hands before undergoing some restoration in the 19th and early 20th centuries and was eventually purchased by Lord Curzon, former Viceroy of India, in 1916. He oversaw extensive restoration work before, on his death in 1925, the property passed into the care of the National Trust. They have since continued the work.

The castle these days is a shell of its former self, but with the outer walls and towers largely intact, is one of the most picturesque in the south of England. And there’s enough of the interior layout remaining to give a good sense of how it once operated as a house and fortress.

 

There’s also a tea-room and gift shop on site and the Trust regularly hold events there including this and next weekend’s hawking events and the upcoming ‘medieval Christmas’.

Bodiam Castle can be a little hard to reach without a car although you can a train to a nearby station and catch a taxi from there. You can also take a steam train from Tenterden to Bodiam but this only runs on limited days (see the Kent and East Sussex Railway website – www.kesr.org.uk – for more).

WHERE: Bodiam Castle, Bodiam, near Robertsbridge, East Sussex; WHEN: 11am to 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday (times can change, so check before heading out); COST: £7 an adult/£3.50 a child/£18.60 a family (includes gift aid donation); WEBSITE: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodiam-castle/.
PICTURE: Matthew Antrobus/National Trust

 

Located on the steps at the end of King Charles Street in Whitehall, this somewhat controversial statue of Robert Clive, known to many as Clive of India, stands outside what was the India Office (and is now the Foreign and Commonwealth Office). The statue was erected in 1912, apparently it was suggested by Lord Curzon, a former viceroy to India.