Slowly slowly catch the monkey…

Looking back through my blogs, they seem to be getting more and more gloomy. I am very aware that nobody wants to hear someone as lucky as me complaining non-stop. Therefore back in April I promised myself that I wouldn’t write another blog until I’d cheered up and had something good to report. I haven’t totally cheered up I’m afraid, but I do have something good to report. My...

A bit bruised and battered

It’s been a difficult couple of months.  In retrospect I think I’ve been a bit naive.  When I took over running St Clere I thought the changes I wanted to make would be universally supported because I believed they would benefit all our neighbours.  I wanted to open St Clere up more, to share it’s extraordinary atmosphere.  I wanted to communicate more about St Clere to ensure people understood...

What would I do to keep the roof on?

It was at the public consultation about the solar panels that it happened. A very nice neighbour plucked up courage to ask me whether the rumour she had heard was true: were we putting a static home site on the land at Chart Stud Farm?  After I had checked three times that I had heard correctly, I reassured her that over my dead body would a static home site...

It’s raining inside….

About five years ago, I went to a Historic Houses Association conference about energy use in historic houses.  The key message from the conference was that weather would become more ‘eventful’.  Wetter rain.  Dryer dry spells etc.  Their point was that we should get prepared, belt and braces, investing in the infrastructure necessary to cope with such events.  On an estate like St Clere ‘getting prepared’ takes a huge...

Love Thy Neighbour

We have alot of neighbours.  We have residents of Kemsing, Heverham, Seal, Wrotham, Ightham, Otford, West Kingsdown, Ash and Stansted neighbouring our land.  When we took over running the estate we wrote a plan for the estate, and one of our three key values is to steward the estate for the benefit of our family, staff and tenants, and for the benefit of our neighbours.  I love living in...

“Build it and they will come…”

In my case, it wasn’t so much a case of having to build it.  I was handed on a plate a stunning 17th Century mansion, with extraordinary gardens surrounded by thousands of acres of farm and woodland.  All building had been done 350+ years ago. It was a case of “Open it and they will come’…’ As I grew up I always felt a bit guilty about so few...