Have you thought about where you’d like to spend your retired years?
Until the time comes, I don’t think many give it much thought. But retirement accommodation is big business and is moving on apace to the outdated vision we might have of retirement homes of the past.
A host of contemporary, purpose-built villages with all the comforts and amenities one might need post retirement are popping up across the UK and we can certainly see the appeal of moving into a modern apartment with all the mod-cons and comfort that includes.
But our hearts really lie within the old bones of buildings that offer more character.
Maybe we’re biased because our passion is maintaining architectural treasures of the past, but we don’t think the charm and appeal of centuries-old houses that echo with eons of life from bygone eras can be surpassed.
Where better to while away leisurely hours once you have the time to linger and enjoy your surroundings?
Our work has taken us to two historic properties recently that provide retirement living accommodation, and both times we’ve been mesmerised by the atmosphere and splendour.
The first will no doubt be known to you – the Royal Chelsea Hospital, home to the Chelsea Pensioners.
The phenomenal success of its residents’ choir and ensuing documentary charting their daily lives at the historic property shone a spotlight on this national treasure of an institution.
The hospital was a purpose-built safe haven founded by King Charles II in 1692 for “the relief and succour” of veterans. It remains the home of some 300 veterans who have served more than 12 years in the British Armed Forces. We felt honoured to be asked to fit secondary glazing here as part of renovation works.
Danny House, West Sussex
You may not have heard, however, of Danny House in West Sussex although this Grade I listed Elizabethan mansion, dating from 1593, has also played its part in British military history. It was rented for four months in 1918 for Prime Minister Lloyd George who lived there with his dog, his wife Margaret and his secretary/mistress Frances Stevenson with whom it is documented he had a passionate affair that continued inside the mansion’s walls.
It was here, in the Great Hall, the Imperial War Cabinet agreed to the terms of the Armistice to be offered to Germany at the end of the Great War. But, for the past 60 years, it has been operating as retirement accommodation with 20 unique serviced apartments available to rent.
These are two of a number of historically significant buildings that have become home to those wanting to retire, not only in style, but enveloped in the grandeur and luxury of times past.
The Telegraph featured Danny House amongst other notable properties that now house seniors living their best lives in retirement. Others mentioned include Amesbury Abbey, Audley Binswood, Sutton Manor and Wildernesse House.
Spending time in the exquisite rooms of Danny House and the Royal Chelsea Hospital, meandering through their manicured grounds, it’s cemented in our minds that this is the retirement dream. Old places just have more personality and, in our experience, attract those with a bit of personality themselves! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Give me the old as I grow older any day.
For more information or to book a free no-obligation survey, simply give us a call on 01384 63 63 65 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.