“I’m so knackered,” Hopwood DePree says, carefully stepping through the undergrowth surrounding his ancestral home on the outskirts of Manchester. “Knackered? Is that the right word? I think that’s the first time I’ve used it in a sentence.”


The former Hollywood actor and producer is so knackered because he’s in the middle of a mammoth project to bring Hopwood Hall back to its former glory after decades of neglect. Since moving from Los Angeles, he’s also been getting to grips with English slang. “And bullocks? Is that another one? Bullocks?”

His forefathers may have lived on the site since the 12th Century, but DePree still has some way to go before he passes as a local. He also has a long way to go before he achieves his dream of restoring his ancestors’ stately home. It’s a wreck.

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