Interesting facts about Luton Hoo

1. The estate of Luton Hoo covers some 1065 acres but the undoubted masterpiece remains Capability Brown’s original 300 acre formal parklands. The park reached a zenith under Julius Wernher in the 20th century when it was transformed into formal gardens, only to degrade in the latter half of the century. Luckily, Elite undertook an exciting restoration project reviving the gardens back to their glorious past.

2. Luton Hoo has a short but distinguished history as a filming location and has provided an excellent backdrop to many period dramas and successful movies. Amongst the roll call of movies was legendary Director Stanley Kubrick’s final movie, Eyes Wide Shut.

3. Thomas, the last of the de Hoo family to carry the name, died in 1455 but was survived by four daughters. The eldest, Anne married the Lord Mayor of London, a gentlemen named Sir Geoffrey Boleine. They produced a son, Thomas who himself married Elizabeth Howard, the daughter of the Duke of Norfolk. Their daughter was one Anne Boleyn, famous wife to King Henry VIII and mother to Queen Elizabeth I. In light of events, it is indeed ironic that a staunchly Catholic heritage produced such a famously Protestant Monarch! 

4. Julius Wernher was a passionate collector of art. His personal collection included some important works from Italian Renaissance artists, early Flemish and English artists as well as decorative art from as far back as the Byzantine period. In keeping with the Russian connection, there was also a collection of rare Carl Faberge eggs.

5. Active in politics, the Wernhers hosted a Conservative Party fete at Luton Hoo in 1948. The event was notable in that it was the occasion that Winston Churchill addressed the 114,000 strong crowd thanking them for their support during the war years and also heaping praise on Britain’s relationship with the USA. In true partisan nature however, he also spent a great deal of the speech attacking Labour policies!