Welcome back to Period Dramas, a weekly column that alternates between roundups of historic homes on the market and answering questions we’ve always had about older structures.One week ago today, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. The historic decision precipitated an onslaught of stories detailing its political and economic ramifications—not least of which being its effect on the value of the British Pound.Within a day, the value of the British Pound plunged to its lowest level in over 30 years, falling from $1.50 before the votes were counted to $1.35 as the results came in. The Pound has continued to waver in place: Today its value is around $1.32.While some people have talked about how, suddenly, the United Kingdom is more affordable than ever for visiting Americans, we at Period Dramas can’t help but turn our eyes toward British country houses. How much cheaper are these historic estates? We decided to put the numbers to the test and examine how Brexit has affected their value.
Trafalgar Park (8 bedrooms, 33 acres of land)Price before Brexit (with £1 = $1.50): £12,000,000 or $18,000,000Price now: $15,840,000Set in the town of Downton (really—we kid you not), Trafalgar Park is arguably the most architecturally significant house we’ll take a look at today. If its immense curb appeal (is it appropriate to use the phrase "curb appeal" to describe a 35,000-square-foot historic house?) didn’t tip you off, its official Grade I listing will.Similar to being registered with the National Historic Landmarks program in the states, being listed with a certain grade in the U.K. denotes how special—and protected—a certain building is. Grade I buildings are the highest grade possible.Built in the mid-1700s (between 1733 and 1766 or later) for aristocrat Sir Peter Vanderput, the mansion is a Neoclassical dream out of Regency England: The floorplan is symmetrically organized with absurdly grandiose rooms in both scale and appointment.While all of its rooms are worth writing about, we have to highlight the music room with its mural, designed by G.B. Cipriani, and its impressive two-story central hall with an inlaid floor, vaulted ceiling, and intricately carved decorations over the doors and mantlepiece. Even the areas of the house that need work (one of the wings is in disrepair) are perfectly lovely, with romantically shabby plasterwork and Doric columns....
Tower of Lethendy (8 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 39 acres of land)Price before Brexit (with £1 = $1.50): £4,600,000 or $6,900,000Price now: $6,072,000