For sale: Britain's jubilee homes
It's nearly 60 years since the Queen came to the throne and she's witnessed a housing market that's changed out of all recognition. Jessie Hewitson tracks down some of the homes built in HRH Queen Elizabeth II's coronation year to find out their jubilee story
Indeed, the 1950s were a busy house-building postwar decade, so many of us are living in homes that were built around the time of the Queen’s coronation.
Michael Morrall, for example, who is 70, lives in a three-bed semi-detached home in Dudley that was built in 1953 – the year of the coronation.
Found within the Hansbury Estate, Morrall’s mother and father bought the property and moved in some years after the ceremony, but Morrall remembers celebrating the occasion with his grandmother in her local village hall.“It’s a strange thought that the Queen has been on the throne as long as our house has been built,” he says. “There are still people who live here that moved in that year.”
The family of Justin Ramsay, 57, meanwhile, bought his home in Dover - Hope Bay Studio. It's a five-bedroom clifftop house (pictured, below) overlooking the Channel, with two further two-bedroom cottages set in 13 acres of land – in 1952, the year Elizabeth II ascended to the English throne.
In the year of her Diamond Jubilee it is on the market for £1.4 million through Jackson-Stops & Staff.
It’s a coincidence not lost on Ramsay. “There is quite a connection between my family and the Queen, so it’s fitting really,” he says.
“My father was the artist Dennis Ramsay and my mother bought the property, where I grew up and which we are selling now, called Hope Bay.”
Dennis Ramsay trained as an architect but ended up becoming a well-known classical painter and model-maker. In 1952, Ramsay Sr. made a replica of the coach in which the Queen travelled to be crowned, complete with horses and groomsmen (pictured, below). It became part of a touring Coronation exhibition.
“The Queen accepted the model as a permanent gift, which was very unusual, and my parents drove to Buckingham Palace to present it to her.”
It is believed the model is still displayed in the palace to this day. But in 2001, Dennis Ramsay was commissioned to draw a portrait of Prince Philip for the duke’s 80th birthday, and in 1955 he was commissioned to paint Princess Alexandra.
Meanwhile, agent Strutt & Parker is selling a five-bed house in Northumberland that was built in 1926, the year Queen Elizabeth II was born (this fact is mentioned in the deeds).
It’s a suitably substantial home that the Queen would undoubtedly approve of, with home cinema, kitchen garden, tennis courts, swimming pool, two greenhouses and a summer house. Best of all, it has facilities for that royal preoccupation, horses, with four stables and tack room. It is on the market for £1.5 million.
- By Nigel Lewis
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There is quite a connection between my family and the Queen