3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Lovely to look at. NT Video as it always should have been.,
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This review is from: National Trust - Castle Drogo [DVD] (DVD)
In the past, I have always been disappointed with the quality of National Trust videos on VHS or DVD. What a joy then, is this series! Shot in high definition within the last couple of years (no flares or kipper ties here!) and breathtaking in quality and content. I hugely recommend the whole series to heritage fans.
This Castle Drogo episode features this famed house in remotest Devon. Actually a creation of the early 20th Century, the building of Castle Drogo has more than a little in common with William Randolph Hearst's creation of his castle/mansion at San Simeon in California. A remote location for an ambitious mansion built by a celebrity architect for a rich tycoon - Sir Julius Drewe - who was riding a huge wave of financial success from his business, The Army & Navy stores retail chain: Which also answers the question that most often occurs to modern day visitors, but which is least often asked. How did someone get so rich as to be able to afford to build this?
The similarities with the Hearst mansion end fairly soon though, Castle Drogo was never truly finished and Julius Drewe - unlike Hearst - scaled back and then more or less abandoned the project after tragedy struck with the loss of his son and heirs in WWI. However, successive generations of owners completed and sustained the building, finally donating it to the nation via the National Trust. As this DVD (Narrated, as is all this series, by Nigel Havers) beautifully shows, it's a truly fascinating and mesmerising place and you'll find out lots of interesting things about it. For example, how does WWII Luftwaffe commander Herman Goering fit into the picture?
The DVD features comprehensive views of the property and grounds from inside and out (including aerial shots), a history of the house and its owners. Interviews with National Trust experts and - very importantly - with those who know it best, the current generation of the family, and the NT staff who are the house's current managers.
Simply wonderful, heritage video doesn't get any better than this. This is one of a series of ten DVDs. If you're a heritage fan, be sure to see them all.