‘Downton Shabby’: A Commoner Takes on an English Castle

A Los Angeles actor and producer moved across the pond to restore his crumbling ancestral home. But fixing up a 50,000-square-foot manor isn’t easy.

People who search genealogy websites often find birth and marriage records, newspaper clippings, faded photographs or maybe a long-lost relative.

Hopwood DePree found a 60-room English manor.

As a child growing up in Holland, Mich., in the 1970s, Mr. DePree was transfixed when his beloved maternal grandfather, Pap, a history buff, told him about a huge slice of rolling land across the ocean where his forebears had a grand house called Hopwood Castle.

A castle in Britain owned by his family? Named for his family? No way. [ . . . ]

Full story at New York Times: ‘Downton Shabby’: A Commoner Takes on an English Castle

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