Geordie Greig

A Furriner Abroad

England's Thousand Best Houses


Allen Lane The Penguin Press 950pp £30 order from our bookshop

AN UNLIKELY STAR in Simon Jenkins’s engrossing and richly detailed book about the palaces, mansions, castles, cottages, abbeys and towers he has chosen as the thousand best houses in England is a rotten little farmhouse dating back to medieval times. ‘When I approached the place its owner, Mr Clement, calmed his ferocious dog and demanded of me “You hm Devon?” When I said no he muttered. “A hrriner!” I told him I was on mv, wav, to Cornwall, which he warned me was “bows and arrows country!” A fine sense of territory is sdl ahve in England.’ Thus writes Je&ns of a visit there during hs remarkable grand tour. The place in question is roomh ham Farm, two miles north-east of King’s Nyrnpton. He relishes the fact that the scullery and garderobe are covered in dust and dirt. fiozen in time and utterlv, neg., lected. What is precious about Broomham is not its past but its present, and that, he fears, cannot last.

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