Love Island 2020 contestant Ollie Williams says his father is ‘Lord of the Manor of Lanhydrock’ and that he will inherit the Cornish house
Monday, 13th January 2020, 6:39 pm
Williams, it seems fair to say, appears less likely to keep his riches under wraps in the villa.
When quizzed on the vital villa issue of chat-up lines before joining the show, he responded: “Best chat up line I’ve ever used is: ‘Do you know Polzeath beach in Cornwall? I own it.’ That’s it. Chat up line, done.”
Who is Ollie Williams?
Williams, 23, describes himself as an “alpha male”, explaining: “Wherever I go, I boss the room, I boss whatever I’m doing. I’ll be the butt of all jokes but I’ll also be the one to make all of the jokes.
“I’m attention seeking and I like to be the centre of what is going on at the time.”
He is assisted in bossing whatever he is doing, he says, by his looks: “I’m probably a 10. I think my best feature is my body, closely followed by my wit.”
He explained: “My father is the Lord of the Manor of Lanhydrock. The family title is Viscount Clifden. When my father passes away or abdicates, as the eldest child, I will take on the titles and the estate. I’m the heir of Lanhydrock.”
The islander’s Instagram account depicts an existence filled with vaguely aristocratic pursuits, from shooting and days at the races to a family dinner celebrating his father’s 50th birthday at Lanyhdrock.
He studied a degree in criminology at Royal Holloway University in London, and listed himself on LinkedIn as a junior estate manager at Lanyhdrock prior to appearing on Love Island.
Further social media shots attest to a passion for rugby, with Williams representing Falmouth RFC and his university, as well as the Love Island staples of the gym and lavish holidays.
The 23-year-old is also no stranger to all manner of nights out, from his ideal first date at “a restaurant in Cornwall on the coast where you can overlook the sunset and have a 12 course taster menu with wines,” to the “bloody awesome” parties he throws: “Think Gatsby but with better fireworks.”
What is Lanhydrock?
The Lanhydrock estate initially belonged to a priory of the Augustinian monks of Bodmin, the town lying just to the north of the house, until the dissolution of the monasteries of the 1530s.
In 1620 it was acquired by Sir Richard Robartes – a merchant so rich he earned the moniker “wealthiest in the west” – who began building Lanhydrock House before his death in 1634.
Construction was completed by his son John, and the house was occupied by his Parliamentary forces during the English Civil War in 1644.
Lanhydrock fell into disrepair, and subsequent owners even considered demolishing it, before it was redesigned and the renovated the late 18th and early 19th centuries by the descendants of the 1st Viscount Clifden – the “family title” proclaimed by Williams.
However, in 1881 a fire began in the kitchen chimney and spread rapidly, destroying much of the reconstructed building. It claimed the life of Juliana Agar-Robartes, while her grieving husband Thomas never recovered, dying within a year.
Only a few portions of the main building and the original gatehouse remain from the 17th-century, with the walls reconstructed with fire concrete and fire safety measures put in place.
The Agar-Robartes family was very active during the First World War, with Thomas, an MP and heir to Viscount Clifden, killed in action at the Battle of Loos in 1915.
However, they declined in fortunes following the First World War, and upon the death of the 8th Viscount Clifden in 1974 the peerage became extinct, despite Love Island’s Williams declaring it “the family title”.
In 1953, Lanhydrock House and around 400 acres of surrounding parkland were given to the National Trust.
However, the company Lanhydrock Estate – which is run by Williams’ father Andrew, described by his son as “the Lord of the Manor” – owns and runs the land which was retained by the Robartes family after it the main house and grounds were given away.
According to the company’s website, it “consists today of a variety of business entities owning, running or managing farm land, buildings, houses and offices over some 2500 acres in Lanhydrock and the surrounding area.”
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