Princess Diana's brother Earl Charles Spencer inherited his childhood home, Althorp House, in 1992, when he was 27 years old. But prior to moving into the grand Grade II listed home, the Earl has revealed he lived in another property on site, The Falconry.
On Thursday, Charles shared a photograph of the rarely seen spot drenched in a beguiling early morning mist.
He captioned the breathtaking snap: "The Falconry, in the rear of the Park at @althorphouse - built in 1613, for one week’s entertainment during a royal visit. It was, effectively, somewhere for people to watch falconry displays taking place in the surrounding countryside. This was my home here till I took over looking after Althorp, in 1992. Such a beautiful spot. #falconry#hawking#englishcountryside#northamptonshire#17thcentury#1613#jamesi"
Many fans didn't know this fact about where Charles used to live and one commented: "I would love to see what it looks like inside. I didn’t realise you lived there." Someone else expressed an interest in seeing inside too, adding: "Are there interior photos available?"
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Others probed with questions like: "Wow! It’s amazing!!! Will it be renovated at some point???" and: "Very cool. Does anyone live there now?"
The 550-acre estate and the 90-room main residence are about to undergo an overhaul as Charles and his wife Karen have decided upon a five-year renovation project.
To share the exciting news, Countess Spencer uploaded a picture of one of the house's wonky doors. She penned: "I love this door. It’s such a great example of the quirky nature of this 500-year-old house. It also exemplifies the challenges of the renovation that we are at long last about to kick off.
"It has been over 4 years of study, working with architects and planners and our amazing team here at Althorp to imagine and carefully plan what the latest version of this wonderful house is. How do we make it work for the way we want to use it today while also being respectful of its past. I’ve spent a long time pondering this point and we are finally there!
"But this door is also the perfect example of the unexpected challenges that the project presents. Just when you think you can count on a straight line, you discover you can’t. I can’t imagine how it came to be that this door is so crooked! Pipes have not been where they should be and just when you thought you knew where a beam was, it isn’t… we are uncovering all this houses’ secrets.
"I’m sure it will take the better part of 5 years to complete, but in the end, the whole house will be refreshed. There’s very little of what Charles has done that I think needs changing, he worked with the amazing Edward Bulmer @edward_bulmer 30 years ago and they picked the most amazing palettes and did such a great job of bringing out the classic elegance of Althorp.
"Can’t wait to share the next chapter with you! More soon!"