How the other half lived
In the weekend Telegraph there was a rather interesting piece written by Anthony Russell recalling his childhood spent between Knightsbridge and Leeds Castle in Kent. Every weekend he would drive down from London with his parents in their Bentley to the Castle. His grandmother, Lady Baillie, bought it in 1926 for the then staggering sum of £550,000 and lavished further amounts on it to create an extremely grand house where she entertained royalty, film stars and politicians. The upstairs, downstairs lifestyle persisted through his childhood up to the Sixties when the Castle was first opened to the public. His memoir of the time he spent at Leeds Castle provides an intriguing insight into the privileged upbringing portrayed in Downton Abbey. Luckily we can all enjoy visiting Leeds Castle now without waiting for a coveted invitation to a house party.