Come along as we restore my ancestors’ 600-year-old Hopwood Hall Estate!
DOWNTON SHABBY by Hopwood DePree — From HarperCollins Publishers & William Morrow Books: Hollywood producer Hopwood DePree had been told as a boy that an ancestor—who he was named for—had left his family’s English castle in the 1700s to come to America. One night after some wine and a visit to Ancestry.com, Hopwood discovered a photograph of a magnificent English estate with a familiar name: Hopwood Hall, a 60-room, 600-year-old grand manor that had been built on 5,000 acres. And with that, Hopwood DePree’s life took an almost fairytale turn.
Hopwood Hall, in northwest England, was indeed his family’s ancestral home. It had been occupied continuously by the Hopwood family for five centuries until the last remaining male heirs were killed in World War I. Since then, the Hall had fallen gradually into disrepair and was close to collapse. When Hopwood visited, he discovered trees growing in the chimneys, holes in the roof, and water sluicing down walls. It would take many millions to save the Hall—millions that Hopwood certainly didn’t have—but despite the fact that he lived in Los Angeles and had no construction skills, Hopwood DePree came to a conclusion: He would save Hopwood Hall.
Downton Shabby—the name Hopwood coined for the glorious ruin—traces Hopwood DePree’s adventures as he gives up his life in Hollywood and moves permanently to England to save Hopwood Hall from ruin. But the task is far too big for one person, of course. Hopwood discovers that the Hall comes with an unforgettable cast of new neighbors he can call on for help—from the electrician whose mum had fond memories of working at the Hall to gruff caretaker Bob, and the local aristocrats who (sort of) come to accept Hopwood as one of their own. Together, as they navigate the trials and triumphs of trying to save an actual castle, Hopwood finds himself ever further from the security of his old life, but comes to realize that, actually, he’s never been closer to home.
About Hopwood DePree
Hello and welcome to my site! First off, I want to say how lucky (or crazy) I feel to be able to dedicate so much of my life to the restoration of my ancestors’ 600-year-old Hopwood Hall Estate. It’s been a madcap adventure moving from LA to Northern England. The recurring rain, warm beer and spooky ghosts have not scared me off! I’m actually loving every minute of it and have made some lifelong friends. I’ve just written a book about the whole story (secrets included!) called DOWNTON SHABBY that you can order it here from HarperCollins Publishers. Also I’d love it if you Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to watch our latest video updates (which occasionally involves things falling on my head). If you’d like to support the content you see, please sign up for our Patreon account and be the first to receive exclusive videos and advance views. We’re having a fun ride over here at Hopwood Hall and it would be fantastic to have you along with us on the journey!