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The effects of coronavirus knows no bounds, and that includes all the way out in Dorset, England. Just this week, Julie Montagu announced that she and her husband, Luke, have closed their family property, dubbed Mapperton House & Gardens, to the public, beginning on March 23.
Not familiar with Mapperton? Let us get you up to speed: Located on 15 acres, the sandstone manor house belongs to Luke’s parents, the Earl and Countess of Sandwich. Built in the 1540s, the estate includes the manor and its surrounding gardens (one Italianate, one wild), as well as 25 homes, farmlands, and a gift shop that Julie overhauled when she and Luke took over Mapperton’s operations a few years ago. More to know: Julie’s formal title is actually Viscountess of Hinchingbrooke.
Typically open five days a week for guided tours, the estate is now closed due to coronavirus. “Since 23rd March we have closed Mapperton House, Gardens, the Coach House café and our Gift Shop for the time being,” the Ladies of London socialite wrote on Instagram. “However it’s important to stay connected and we will be offering LIVE virtual tours of ‘The Nation’s Finest Manor House’ and our 15 acre Italianate gardens just after Easter.”
Always one to inspire, Julie also encouraged her followers to look for the silver lining in this strange time. “While the pandemic feels front and centre of our lives and is most likely taking up a vast amount of bandwidth, life is still happening around it and we can try our best to ‘meet’ others and ourselves with kindness and compassion. This too shall pass. And it’s helpful to remember that this won’t last forever. So asking yourself what positive changes can you take with you?,” she wrote. “Here at @mapperton_estate - a positive change is being able to bring this English history into your home no matter where you are in the world. And for that we are grateful. Sending you all love and strength from a very quiet but very sunny day here at @mapperton_estate.”
Want to see more of Mapperton? Take the full tour by clicking on the video above!
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