10 things you might not know about Lauderdale House in Highgate
Lauderdale House is running a crowdfunding appeal to raise £125,000 to secure its future. Here are 10 things you might not know about this treasured historic property in Highgate.
1. The house was originally two small houses which Sir Richard Martin joined together.
2. The Victorians nearly pulled the house down but it was saved by William Morris in 1893.
3. When fire took hold of the house in 1963, the lived-in park-keeper and his family were saved by their dog alerting them.
4. It’s rumoured that there was a secret passage from the cellars in Lauderdale to the Ghanaian embassy once upon a time.
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5. 65,000 people cross the threshold every year.
6. Actresses Maureen Lipman and Sheridan Smith and Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood have all been spotted in Lauderdale’s Cabaret in the House audiences.
7. There’s a well under the floor in front of the café counter.
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8. The Long Gallery was privileged to host Alexander Litvinenko’s memorial after his burial in Highgate Cemetery.
9. Nell Gywnn gave birth to her two sons by King Charles II at Lauderdale. She was sent here to take advantage of the clean air as opposed to the stench of central London.
10. Samuel Pepys visited Lord Lauderdale for dinner and his scathing report of the violin playing is in his diary.