BOOK LAUNCH & SUPPER CLUB: Restoration of St Giles by Nick Ashley-Cooper, the 12th Earl of Shaftesbury
Saturday 8 September, 6:30pm, £10 or £40 includes supper afterwards Bookings
The 12th Earl of Shaftesbury never expected to inherit his family’s crumbling Dorset stately home, or the title that goes with it. As the “spare” rather than the heir, he spent his early twenties building a career as a dance music DJ in New York.
St. Giles House fell into a period of disrepair following the Second World War and appeared on the English Heritage “Buildings at Risk” register. A decade on and the family pile, St Giles House, bears little resemblance to the disintegrating shell Nick took on and is now the subject of Nick’s new book, ‘The Rebirth of an English Country House : St Giles House’.
In recent years, his award-winning restoration has brought the house back to life, transforming exquisite spaces that honour the past while being suited to twenty-first-century living. English country-house splendour, through the hands of some of the world’s top artisans and craftspeople, returns to the house in the form of re-created wallpapers, customized paints, revived furniture from the Georgian and Victorian periods, reworked antique Brussels tapestries, restored plasterwork and textiles, and a complete overhaul of the landscape, with its sunken garden, woodlands, avenue of beeches, lake, and shell-encrusted grotto.
In 2015, St Giles was announced the winner of the Historic Houses Association and Sotheby’s Restoration Award.
A pop-up exhibition by award-winning photographer Justin Barton documenting the restoration of St Giles House will be on view in our Long Gallery.
St Giles house lies in Wimborne St Giles on the southern edge of Cranborne Chase.