News, Culture & Society

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Embattled Earl Bathurst turns his family estate into a ‘posh bed and breakfast’

It’s a startling move by Allen Bathurst, who succeeded as 9th Earl on his father ‘Barmy’ Bathurst’s death in 2011

He was cut out of his ‘callous’ stepmother’s £33 million will and this week suffered the indignity of seeing her beneficiaries sell some of the family treasures worth nearly £2 million at Christie’s.

But, far from being reduced to despair, I can reveal Earl Bathurst has been spurred into action — by turning his family’s estate into a ‘posh B&B’.

It’s a startling move by Allen Bathurst, who succeeded as 9th Earl on his father ‘Barmy’ Bathurst’s death in 2011.

Though 3,000 acres of parkland and woodland are open to members of the public, ‘The Mansion’, as the family seat is known, is screened from the adjacent town of Cirencester by a 40ft-high yew hedge and has remained resolutely private.

But that is about to change with ‘posh B&B’, as the Earl’s wife, Sara, describes it. 

‘It will be quite fun,’ trills Countess Bathurst, who envisages guests having their own sitting room as well as bedroom. ‘In the morning, we will give them a lovely breakfast and maybe I will give them a bit of a tour.’

It’s not the only innovation which the Bathursts are about to initiate. ‘We are going to start doing weddings,’ explains the Countess, though emphasising that The Mansion isn’t about to become a Las Vegas ‘chapel of love’. 

‘I don’t want to put in a revolving door,’ she says, adding that the number of ceremonies will be ‘very limited — about half a dozen a year’, with ‘maybe some niche corporate events within the house to help pay the bills’.

With an estate extending to 15,000 Gloucestershire acres, such matters might normally be thought of negligible concern. But that changed with publication of the Dowager Countess’s will last November.

Gloria Bathurst, ‘Barmy’ Bathurst’s second wife, left almost all her personal £33.2 million fortune — much of it heirlooms and property in Bathurst hands for generations (and bequeathed to the stepmother, I should add) — to Grant White, an interior designer based in Fulham, and New Yorker Geoffrey Bradfield.

In doing so, reflected Allen Bathurst, this ‘callous woman’ broke his late father’s trust, and inflicted ‘a terrible tragedy’ on the family.

With an estate extending to 15,000 Gloucestershire acres, such matters might normally be thought of negligible concern. But that changed with publication of the Dowager Countess's will last November

With an estate extending to 15,000 Gloucestershire acres, such matters might normally be thought of negligible concern. But that changed with publication of the Dowager Countess’s will last November

The smart set’s talking about…

Wellington niece’s fancy footwork

Now Eleanor Wellesley, the niece of Tory peer Charles Wellesley who has succeeded to the dukedom, is hoping to build her own legacy in footwear

Now Eleanor Wellesley, the niece of Tory peer Charles Wellesley who has succeeded to the dukedom, is hoping to build her own legacy in footwear

Her ancestor, the 1st Duke of Wellington, wore his beloved leather boots so much that they were eventually named after him.

Now Eleanor Wellesley, the niece of Tory peer Charles Wellesley who has succeeded to the dukedom, is hoping to build her own legacy in footwear. 

For I can reveal the 24-year-old is planning to turn her eye for style into a money-making venture with an eponymous shoe brand. 

Steering clear of her forebear’s footsteps, she will specialise in Spanish-style espadrilles.

‘Eleanor always knew she wanted to go into fashion,’ says a friend. 

‘She’s a hard worker and made great connections from her internship with Burberry and working with a top stylist in New York.’

Eleanor has flown to Italy with her boyfriend, Gustav Holst Stuge, 33, to oversee production. With the launch date yet to be set, she confirms excitedly: ‘They’re coming soon.’

Another one bites the dust for actor Laurence Fox, who has split from journalist Madeline Grant with whom he struck up a romance after meeting on BBC1’s Question Time in January. 

The 42-year-old started dating Grant after his then-girlfriend, photographer Sara McKinnon, dumped him in the wake of his infamous appearance on the show in which he accused an audience member of racism for calling him a ‘white privileged male’. 

Grant describes dating during the pandemic as ‘catastrophic’ for women who are looking for a ‘life partner’.

Despite famously having had multiple cosmetic enhancements, former Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson has made the surprising claim that she’s actually very low-maintenance when it comes to her beauty regime.

‘I don’t fall for all that stuff. I’m not a big product person,’ she insists. 

‘I love getting facials. I love getting massages.

‘I love all that. But if someone told me what I had to do first, second, third, I’m just not going to do it. I fall asleep in my make-up, I have mascara all over my pillow. That’s how it is.’

Ship-shape Macca pushes the boat out 

He’s probably the most famous musician in the world, with a net worth of £938 million — but Sir Paul McCartney still prefers the simple things in life.

The 78-year-old former Beatle is on holiday in The Hamptons with his wife, Nancy Shevell, 60.

This week the singer enjoyed some time alone on his beloved Sunfish dinghy, which he named Linda in homage to his first wife, who died in 1998.

Sporting a plain white T-shirt and blue shorts, the father of five sailed his boat around the bay before cooling off with a swim. Emerging from the sea, yoga enthusiast Macca showed off the figure he keeps in shape with his stringent exercise regime.

‘I do a bit of the cross-trainer, a bit of running, a bit of cardio and then I do some weights, some abs on the Swiss ball, before ending up on the mat doing a few stretches,’ he has said.

Sounds like a hard day’s night.

This week the singer enjoyed some time alone on his beloved Sunfish dinghy, which he named Linda in homage to his first wife, who died in 1998

This week the singer enjoyed some time alone on his beloved Sunfish dinghy, which he named Linda in homage to his first wife, who died in 1998

He's probably the most famous musician in the world, with a net worth of £938 million — but Sir Paul McCartney still prefers the simple things in life

He’s probably the most famous musician in the world, with a net worth of £938 million — but Sir Paul McCartney still prefers the simple things in life

Sporting a plain white T-shirt and blue shorts, the father of five sailed his boat around the bay before cooling off with a swim

Sporting a plain white T-shirt and blue shorts, the father of five sailed his boat around the bay before cooling off with a swim

Iris Law’s sparkler surprise for Jude

While Jude Law prepares for the birth of his sixth child, his daughter, Iris, is celebrating some good news of her own.

The 19-year-old Burberry model, whose mother is Jude’s ex-wife, Sadie Frost, marked her two-year anniversary with artist boyfriend Jyrrel Roberts, 22, this week — and is now brandishing a diamond ring on her engagement finger.

One online snap, a close-up of her left hand on which she sports a new heart-shaped sparkler, prompted fans to speculate about an engagement.

The model declined to comment but has made no secret of her desire to start a family young, admitting: ‘I want to have all my kids by 30.’ 

While Jude Law prepares for the birth of his sixth child, his daughter, Iris, is celebrating some good news of her own

While Jude Law prepares for the birth of his sixth child, his daughter, Iris, is celebrating some good news of her own

The 19-year-old Burberry model, whose mother is Jude's ex-wife, Sadie Frost, marked her two-year anniversary with artist boyfriend Jyrrel Roberts, 22, this week — and is now brandishing a diamond ring on her engagement finger

The 19-year-old Burberry model, whose mother is Jude’s ex-wife, Sadie Frost, marked her two-year anniversary with artist boyfriend Jyrrel Roberts, 22, this week — and is now brandishing a diamond ring on her engagement finger

Rosie’s brother shows off legal eagle lover

M&S model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who has been engaged to Hollywood hardman Jason Statham for four years, could still be beaten to altar by her brother Toby — even though he split from his fiancee last year.

The swimwear model and personal trainer, 31, has found love again after breaking up with yoga instructor Cicely Brown.

Toby, who lives in London, is now courting beautiful French lawyer Noa Murcia, 34, with whom I’m told he is ‘totally besotted’.

This week he whisked her away for a holiday in Santorini, Greece, where they posed for their first picture together, which Toby shared online. ‘

They’ve known each other for ages,’ says my source. ‘But they were never single at the same time — until now.’

This week he whisked her away for a holiday in Santorini, Greece, where they posed for their first picture together, which Toby shared online

This week he whisked her away for a holiday in Santorini, Greece, where they posed for their first picture together, which Toby shared online

Ewan’s nephew raps up his movie dream

Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor was said to be thrilled when his nephew, Jamie, started following in his footsteps by pursuing a career in film. But the 21-year-old reveals he’s abandoned his Hollywood dream to launch himself as a rapper.

Jamie plans to release his debut song, The Party And The Rave, shortly. ‘I used to be into film but have a great passion for music, and swayed more into this,’ Jamie tells me.

Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor was said to be thrilled when his nephew, Jamie, started following in his footsteps by pursuing a career in film

Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor was said to be thrilled when his nephew, Jamie, started following in his footsteps by pursuing a career in film

(Very) modern manners

While it’s socially acceptable for women to boost their height with a pair of heels, what should men do if they want to look taller? 

Pop star Robbie Williams admits he’s started wearing ‘Spice Girls-style’ platforms to add a few inches to his frame. 

‘I am 6ft, 6ft 1in. I’ve got these new trainers that have got this thick sole and in them I am nearly 6ft 3in,’ he says. ‘Every little helps.’ 

Edited by Juliet Conway 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk