Downton Shabby’ Hopwood DePree’s memoir about his humorous and heart-warming adventures of moving from Hollywood to the borough of Rochdale to rescue his dilapidated 600-year-old ancestral home, Hopwood Hall Estate, has been published (Thursday 9 June).

Hollywood producer Hopwood DePree had been told as a boy that an ancestor – who he was named after – 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.

This 60-room, 600-year-old Grade-II* listed manor which had originally sat on 5,000 acres in Middleton was soon to turn DePree’s life into a fairy-tale.

Downton Shabby – the name Hopwood coined for the glorious ruin – traces DePree’s adventures as he gives up his Hollywood life and moves permanently to England to save Hopwood Hall from ruin. He soon discovers the task is far too big for any one person.

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