Bamber’s Greatest Challenge

The iconic former host of University Challenge, Bamber Gascoigne, has inherited one of the most attractive and beautiful stately homes situated in the Surrey commuter belt.

Bamber Gascoigne has inherited West Hawsley Place from his elderly aunt, the Duchess of Roxborough. She died when she was 99 years of age in 2014 having lived in the property primarily since her divorce from the Duke of Roxborough, whose home is Flaws Castle near Kelsoe.

The property itself is in an expensive part of the ‘stock broker belt’ and is, despite it needing considerable upgrading and repairs, undoubtedly worth considerable sums of money.

The historic building which dates back to the 11th Century has a red brick Georgian façade.

Bamber Gascoigne currently lives with his wife Christina in Richmond and, as well as being the original presenter of University Challenge, is something of a polymath himself. They have reportedly decided on taking up the challenge of upgrading and carrying out all the essential works at the property.

The Duchess of Roxborough inherited the property from her father, the Marquess of Crewe, who bought the property in 1931. Bamber’s aunt in her earlier years carried the train of Queen Elizabeth II at the coronation of George VI.  She was married for nearly 20 years to the Duke of Roxborough who reputedly had his butler deliver divorce papers on a silver breakfast platter back in 1953.

Bamber Gascoigne himself has had an interesting career over the years, including some 25 years as the original host of University Challenge as well as being a writer and broadcaster and a supporter and funder of the “Skerry” boat; the original two of which were rode in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee river pageant.

The structural regeneration of West Hawsley Place with his wife Christina (a ceramicist of some repute), however, is likely to be Bamber’s greatest challenge.

LCB/SRJ                                                                   02.04.15

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