Life at Anglesey Abbey

Lord and Lady Fairhaven

'Life at Anglesey... ran like clockwork and nobody was ever late for anything... Manservants moved noiselessly about, gardeners continually changed blooms from the hot-houses and it was reputed that guests had their shoelaces ironed before breakfast.' - Simon Houfe.

Life at Anglesey Abbey

Lord Fairhaven was a quiet, generous and wealthy bachelor, who inherited visual taste, concern for comfort and a spirit of philanthropy from his much-loved American mother.

Her father was one of the founders of Standard Oil, passing a wealth on to Lord Fairhaven that allowed him to indulge in his many passions, and to live a life of luxury.

A lavish lifestyle

Lord Fairhaven would begin the day with his valet taking tea, newspapers and a menu for the day up to his room.

The housemaids would start work at 6:30am, cleaning the main rooms. The hall-boy would bring in logs for the fires which were kept burning all day during the winter.

Whilst Lord Fairhaven bathed, the valet would lay out one of his suits. A dapper gentleman, he had over 50 suits and accessories, which were always matched with a carnation in the buttonhole.

Quality food

Food was the highest quality plain English fare, prepared by chef Allen and served by the butler in white tie and tails. Lord Fairhaven would often drink whisky and soda with his meal, along with white wine and champagne.

An excellent host

Lord Fairhaven disliked eating alone and would often invite guests to dinner. They included Cambridge academics, Newmarket trainers, local clergymen and soldiers.

He and his guests would then retire to the Oak Room. The butler would bring in a radio on a silver tray at 9pm so that they could listen to the BBC News.

The house was only full during race meetings at Newmarket and for shooting weekends - exclusively male occasions.

Lord Fairhaven leased shooting rights over 10,000 acres to the east of the Abbey, which offered some of the best partridge shooting in the country.