Richard L. Chilton: The boy who rose from a New jersey 'monstrosity' to one of Britain's top stately homes | Daily Mail Online
Richard L Chilton, hedge fund billionaire, is the new owner of one of the finest homes in Britain.
American billionaire buys Crichel House (From Bournemouth Echo)
It was owned by the same aristocratic family for 300 years before being sold, and the last owner was Mary Marten OBE, goddaughter of the Queen Mother and a child playmate of Princess Margaret.
It was then passed down to her six children, Victoria, Charlotte, Georgina, Amabel, Napier and Sophia.
Crichel House has more than 25 rooms, a ballroom and a wine cellar.
The property overlooks a crescent-shaped ornamental lake.
Crichel House itself dates back to the 18th century and is Grade I listed.
Parts of the 1996 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, were filmed there.
Napier Marten gave up the Crichel Estate in Dorset and the £115million family fortune because of a voice 'inside of me saying daily and sometimes many times daily to shave my head and go to Australia.'
The 54-year-old spoke of how in 1996 he dropped his former life and travelled to Australia - stopping in Maui to shave his head - because his life of privilege had brought him to a point 'where everything in my life materially was a completely empty shell', reports The Sunday Times.
Chinese ornaments sell for £12.5m - more than double the value of the stately home they were found in | Daily Mail Online
Last year a stunning collection of Chinese jade ornaments Mrs Marten and her father had collected were auctioned off for a combined total of £12.5 million.
It has now been reported that the estate in its entirety is being sold.
Local gossip has it that Prince Charles may be looking to snap it up as a marital home for his newly-married son and daughter-in-law.
Feudal Lordship of Winterborne Saint Martin - Sturt
Crichel House, a modern mansion in the Classical style, consists of the main building and a smaller wing.
It stands in a park 400 acres (162 hectares) in extent, which contains a lake covering 50 acres(20 hectares).
Crichel formally belonged to the Napiers, whose ancestor, a cadet of the Napiers of Murchison, settled in Dorset in Henry VII's time.
Their old House, built by Sir Nathaniel Napier, where Gerard Napier, the first baronet, entertained Charles II and Catherine of Braganza, was burned to the ground in 1742.
The estates passed in the middle of the 18th Century to Humphrey Sturt, of Horton, in Dorset, on his marriage with Diana, aunt and heir of Sir Gerard Napier, the 6th and last baronet.
Mr Sturt greatly enlarged the new house, which his wife's brother, Sir William Napier, had built on the site of the old home, and his descendant, the 2nd Lord Alington, later lived there.
George IV, while Prince Regent, occupied Crichel House for a time, and his daughter, the Princess Charlotte, stayed here under the care of Lady Rosslyn and Lady Ilchester.
Possibly for sale – a landmark for landowners: Crichel House, Dorset | The Country Seat
Great Houses of Dorsetshire
A great 18th-century house built on the ruins of the Tudor house burned down in 1742.
Moving the whole village to allow the house a pleasant aspect (as with Milton Abbey), the relocated village, still called New Town (see map), it took some 40 years to complete.