Top 10 Country
‘It is fun,’ says the genial Philip Eddell, who has a long and storied career in rural estate management. Formerly of Knight Frank in Hungerford, Eddell saw that clients had a natural interest in the mansion house.
The pivotal moment in Eddell’s career was acting for Madonna and Guy Ritchie during their (mainly successful) attempt to have the right to roam restricted on their estate. ‘That was a good watershed moment to identify ourselves more specifically with the mansion house,’ he recalls.
He now has unmatched experience in improving the running of large homes. ‘You can walk into houses and tell when there’s something not right,’ he says. ‘You could argue we’re creating Downton Abbey for someone. You end up running a small business and basically a privately owned hotel, and if it’s badly run your idyll isn’t so much of an idyll as it should be.’
For Eddell, the people you choose are important. ‘How you structure the project will make a difference. If you get it wrong at the outset, you run the risk of overrunning and costs going up.
‘A high proportion of our work comes from buying agents,’ he adds. ‘They’re the deal-makers and we’re the after-sale service. We love getting things sorted out.