History and architecture
The property was first held by Michael Blount and has remained with the family for 400 years. It was built at the time of the Spanish Armada in the classic Elizabethan E-shape. It includes a late 18th century chapel built in the Strawberry Hill Gothic style for the Catholic owners of the house. The estate covers much of the village including Mapledurham Watermill and part of the church.
Art and Literary associations
The poet Alexander Pope was a frequent visitor to the house as he was enamoured of two daughters of the Blount family. The house and surrounding village were used for the filming of the 1976 film of The Eagle Has Landed and also for several television series, including Midsomer Murders. It is also reputed to have been the inspiration for E. H. Shepard's illustrations of Toad Hall for Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, although this is also claimed by Hardwick House.
Sight-seeing helicopter flights run from the estate, with up to 70 short flights per day, caused complaints about noise levels, with one local resident describing it in 2013 as like being "in Vietnam during a high intensity attack". A representative of the estate responded by saying that they had taken account of the complaints by reducing the number of helicopter flight days from 20 to 10 per year.
- "Mapledurham House sightseeing helicopters prompt row". BBC News. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
- "Villagers angry as helicopter flights resume". Higgs Group. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
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