In the late 1920s, Uncle William bought a country house at Colwood, in the village of Warninglid in Sussex, half a dozen miles south of Gatwick airport. It became his beloved country home where he spent every weekend, and towards the end of his life, many of the weeks too. He also had a flat in London in Bentinck Mansions, Wigmore Street, just behind Selfridge’s where I remember being taken to meet him and being ushered in by his ‘man’.
Colwood had been built or rebuilt in or around 1884, and in the late Victorian era, a number of distinguished guests were entertained there. When Uncle William bought it, he added a ballroom, and there was a range of garages where he kept his Packard car, and extensive grounds of 23 acres leading down to a lake.
Here he died in 1961 and was buried in the nearby churchyard at Slaugham.
After his death the house became Hollingbury Court preparatory school, then in 1982 it was sold once again, the garages and part of the property were sold off separately, but the main house was bought by its present owners Mr and Mrs Patrick and Rosy Brenan who have restored it to its former glories.
The gardens are magnificent with superb rhododendrons and on island in the middle of the lake at the bottom of the grounds, a Grecian temple is very appropriately being built. In 2012 they invited us down for a splendid lunch on a glorious summer’s day, and we were delighted to visit the house that meant so much to Uncle William, and to see that it is so splendidly maintained.