The New York Times recently published a story about an American man from Los Angeles, Hopwood DePree, with an unusual family legend: One branch of the family supposedly inhabited a castle in England.
The story turned out to be true!
Well, partially true. Hopwood Hall is a manor house, not a castle, located near the northern city of Manchester. But, as anyone who has seen Downton Abbey knows, British manor houses often have the appearance of castles and served a similar role as the official seats of power of powerful families.
It's not just a story about an old manor house and British genealogy. DePree's mission to restore his ancestral home in England in his own special way is very inspiring. It's an uphill battle - the manor was nearly derelict when he found it, but he has a plan to bring it back ... and we hope he succeeds!
Hopwood is doing a video series to document the work and the highlights of the old home. The videos are a joy to watch - he has Hollywood acting experience, loves being in front of the camera, and he's a total ham. I urge you to check out some of the Hopwood videos and stories linked below. He is also writing a book about the restoration.