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Valentine’s Day: 4 lovers who constructed homes for his or her vital others (spoiling the marketplace for everybody)

With February’s HDB BTO 2023 season upon us and Valentine’s Day on 14 February, we thought it will be apt to share the love tales of 4 totally different romantic companions whose love for his or her different halves transcended a easy candlelit dinner and roses on V-Day itself.

Certainly, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to that latest tear-jerking episode of Invoice and Frank in HBO’s The Final of Us videogame-to-TV collection adaptation, nothing is unattainable when love is concerned.

Don’t be shocked if “BTO February 2023” or “ai BTO mai?” turns into a part of your dialog throughout your Valentine’s Day dinner on February 14.

Nevertheless, the 4 people within the 4 tales beneath might have set the bar a bit too excessive – they’ve every constructed a home (or constructed “one thing”) to admit their love for the opposite – in brief, they mainly spoilt the marketplace for all lovers on the market.

So when you and your accomplice are planning to use for an HDB BTO flat, or seeking to purchase a home, see if these tales encourage you this Valentine’s Day.

On the very least, they make for some fascinating conversations over a candlelit dinner…

Ashdown Home

Ashdown House, Berkshire, England
Supply: UK Nationwide Belief

The central historic determine behind the love story for this home could be Lord William Craven (1608-1697), an English nobleman, soldier and 1st Earl of Craven.

After inheriting cash and lands from his father, a former Lord Mayor of London and a longtime service provider, he turned one of many richest males in Seventeenth-century England.

One in every of these lands was Ashdown Property, which William frequented due to his love of searching.

William, 1st Baron and Earl of Craven (1608-1697)
William, 1st Baron and Earl of Craven (1608-1697) constructed a searching lodge (aka countryside palace) for a former queen. (Picture credit score: Gerard van Honthorst – Sotheby & Public Area)

In his early days, William fought for Frederick V within the Thirty Years’ Warfare however was captured and ransomed. It was at The Hague (Netherlands) that William first met and fell in love with the exiled and older Queen Elizabeth Stuart of Bohemia (1596-1662).

In case you’re questioning, Bohemia immediately is house to the Czech Republic.

Sadly for William, Elizabeth was the daughter of King James I of England, and he or she was already married to Frederick V. She was additionally known as the ‘Winter Queen’ as a result of her reign lasted just one winter because of the struggle.

After her husband died in 1632, Elizabeth turned mindless with grief and didn’t eat for 3 days. Based on legend, William stepped in and offered her with care and monetary help.

In 1660, when King Charles II (Elizabeth’s nephew) took the throne, William and Elizabeth returned to England. William turned her casual head of family and was typically seen beside her, together with escorting her to the theatre.

Whereas the character of their relationship was unknown, it turned extraordinarily clear how devoted William was to Elizabeth. As a result of he knew she liked searching, he selected to construct a searching lodge for her in Ashdown.

Sadly, Elizabeth handed away of pneumonia on 13 February 1662 earlier than the home was accomplished. She did nonetheless move on her paperwork, trophies and portraits, lots of which stay hanging in Ashdown Home immediately.

Ashdown House from Weathercock Hill
Ashdown Home from Weathercock Hill by Mick Crawley.

The Home, which one can go to on guided excursions, has a number of distinctive properties. It has a putting Seventeenth-century staircase product of oak and elm. There’s additionally the domed cupola which gives spectacular views over three counties, together with The Ridgeway, one of many oldest roads in England.

Within the neighborhood of the Home, there’s a decorative parterre backyard, Alfred’s Fortress (you’ll comprehend it when you’ve watched Netflix’s The Final Kingdom) and tree trails the place you may spot totally different herds of deer.

The final member of the Craven household left Ashdown in 1926 and it’s now beneath the UK Nationwide Belief.

William Craven, nonetheless, by no means married, having misplaced his one and solely love. He died in London on 9 April 1697, aged 88.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Alongside the Temple of Artemis and the Pharos lighthouse at Alexandria, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon had been one of many Seven Wonders of the Historic World. If that in itself doesn’t make you step again in awe, then the explanations for it would.

Based on historic texts, the Gardens had been supposedly constructed within the historic metropolis of Babylon round 600 BC, close to immediately’s Hillah, Babil province in Iraq. The time period ‘Hanging Gardens’ refers to overhanging timber, which had been planted alongside raised terrace buildings again within the day.

Many who learn the texts had been amazed by the exceptional feats of engineering it took to assemble them. It’s because the Gardens (plural) had been a collection of ascending-tiered gardens beside the Euphrates river – full of stairways, columns and terraces, and lined with timber, shrubs and vines.

Hanging Gardens of Babylon
This hand-coloured engraving depicts the fabled Hanging Gardens, with the Tower of Babel within the background.

They had been constructed beside the grand palace (generally known as The Marvel of Mankind) by King Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 BC), for his spouse, Queen Amytis of Media.

Based on what was written, she missed the inexperienced hills and valleys of her homeland a lot, the King determined to construct a number of gardens for her, utilizing the Euphrates river and Archimedes’ screw contraptions to irrigate the vegetation.

Whereas the precise location of the Gardens was by no means decided, written descriptions exist. Right here’s one:

On this palace he erected very excessive partitions, supported by stone pillars; and by planting what was known as a pensile paradise, and replenishing it with all types of timber, he rendered the prospect a precise resemblance of a mountainous nation. This he did to gratify his queen, as a result of she had been introduced up in Media, and was keen on a mountainous scenario.

-Josephus (c. 37-100 AD)

Whether or not the gardens really exist or not, and for romantic causes no much less, there have been a number of students who shared that the Gardens might have really been confused with the precise one by the Tigris river, constructed by King Sennacherib (704-681 BC) of Assyria.

This begs the query – do you want proof if the story is predicated on love?

Marble Hill Home

If you happen to thought solely males constructed homes out of affection up to now, suppose once more.

From 1724 to 1729, Henrietta Howard (1689-1767), the Countess of Suffolk, England, constructed Marble Hill Home, as a retreat away from her former lover – King George II (1683-1760).

Henrietta Howard
Regardless of being in an abusive marriage, Henrietta Howard discovered a option to change her circumstances and ultimately constructed a home for herself and her 2nd husband. (Picture credit score: Charles Jervas (1675−1739) – Public Area).

Henrietta went by a troublesome childhood (she was primarily raised as an orphan since 12) and disastrous first marriage (her husband always beat her until she went deaf).

Round 1723, she tried to vary her circumstances by orchestrating a means for her husband and herself to be accepted into the long run King of England’s court docket.

She succeeded in being appointed a Woman of the Bedchamber to George II’s spouse, Caroline of Ansbach. Lo and behold, George II took a liking to her and made her his royal mistress.

Henrietta and her husband formally separated round 1727, however there was no official divorce, as that might invite public scrutiny, which George II wouldn’t need. As an alternative, her husband turned an Earl, and he or she was given the title of Countess. In court docket, Henrietta needed to play twin roles as mistress and servant, with nice tact and diplomacy.

After her husband’s demise in 1733 and George II transferring on to a brand new mistress in 1734, Henrietta remarried – this time to Member of Parliament George Berkeley. As a settlement, she acquired fairly a big reward of inventory, jewels, plates, mahogany and furnishings from George II.

Marble Hill Home (picture credit score: Jim Linwood from London – North Face Of Marble Hill Home, Twickenham – London., CC BY 2.0)

Along with her new husband, whom she liked dearly, Henrietta used her wealth to purchase lands by the banks of the River Thames and constructed what’s now generally known as Marble Hill Home.

It turned a much-needed retreat away from the palace and an opportunity to start out life anew with the love of her life.

The home itself is predicated on Palladian structure, impressed by Sixteenth-century Italian architect Palladio.

Henrietta’s tenacity and resourcefulness ultimately made her a celebrated patron of the humanities, structure and panorama gardening. She turned Marble Hill Home right into a magnet for London’s cultural and political elite, together with Alexander Pope, John Homosexual and Horace Walpole.

Some remarked that it rivalled the king’s court docket again within the day. In 1735, Pope even wrote: “There’s a larger court docket now at Marble-hill than at Kensington, and God is aware of when it would finish”.

Taj Mahal

The love story behind the Taj Mahal requires no introduction. Manufactured from ivory-white marble, the mausoleum – with its resplendent dome and 4 standing minarets – by the Yamuna river financial institution within the Indian metropolis of Agra is definitely a tomb.

Taj Mahal India
One of many 7 wonders of the world and one of many main vacationer points of interest of India. Agra is synonymous with that monument of affection, which is the gorgeous Taj Mahal and it’s surrounded by stunning lush inexperienced gardens and a river in Yamuna. ({Photograph} by Kristian Bertel, Wikimedia Commons.)

Commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658), the Taj Mahal was constructed between 1631-1643 to accommodate his favorite spouse, Mumtaz Mahal, after her demise on 17 June 1631. It additionally turned his tomb when he died in 1658.

The gorgeous complicated is 17-hectare in space dimension and features a mosque, visitor home and gardens inside crenellated partitions. Information present that the associated fee to construct the Taj Mahal could be round US$1b immediately.

Formally a UNESCO World Heritage Web site, the Taj Mahal has been known as the jewel of Muslim artwork in India and is an admired masterpiece worldwide. As a vacationer attraction, the Taj Mahal attracts greater than 6 million guests yearly.

Shan Jahan
Shah Jahan, Fifth Mughal Sultan

However how did Mumtaz develop into Shah Jahan’s favorite spouse, a lot in order that he would construct a panoramic edifice in her identify?

Effectively, Mumtaz was Shah Jahan’s 2nd spouse in marriage. Of the 5 wives he had, he was so taken with Mumtaz probably the most that he confirmed little curiosity in exercising his polygamous rights with different wives, besides to dutifully sire youngsters.

His court docket historian even wrote: the connection together with his different wives “his complete delight was centred on this illustrious woman [Mumtaz], to such an extent that he didn’t really feel in the direction of the others [i.e. his other wives] one-thousandth a part of the love that he did for her.”

Portrait of Mumtaz Mahal on Ivory. Mughal, Seventeenth-century. Lahore Museum

Mumtaz typically travelled with Shan Jahan’s entourage and poets would wax lyrical about her magnificence, grace and compassion. Her residence was embellished with pure gold, and valuable stones and had rose-water fountains. She was given an allowance of 1 million rupees per yr (about USD$13k), in addition to lands and properties.

Extra importantly, he consulted Mumtaz in personal and political affairs. She was his shut confidant and trusted adviser – even to the purpose of whether or not to forgive enemies or subject demise sentences. As a patron of data, Mumtaz additionally offered pensions and donations to the daughters of poor students, theologians and pious males.

Collectively, Mumtaz and Shah Jahan had 14 youngsters (eight sons and 6 daughters).

In case you’re questioning, these aren’t the one 4 examples of structure or buildings constructed out of affection (or heartbreak). A number of different noteworthy ones embrace:

New York’s Boldt Fortress: Constructed on New York’s Coronary heart Island by George C. Boldt, the five-acre citadel property is supposed to be given to his spouse, Louise, on Valentine’s Day in 1905. It was imagined to have eleven buildings with an opulent citadel, nevertheless it was by no means accomplished (as a result of George’s spouse died and he was left heartbroken).

Boldt Castle
Boldt Fortress. (Inventive Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0)

Toronto’s Casa Loma: Constructed by Main-Common Sir Henry Mill Pellatt in 1911 for his spouse. Regardless of the hefty price (value USD65m immediately), the couple lived in it for less than 10 years as they misplaced their fortune within the melancholy following World Warfare I. The citadel had 98 rooms with an elevator, an oven giant sufficient to prepare dinner an ox, secret passageways and three bowling alleys.

Malaysia’s Kellie’s Fortress: Not many know this however that is the oldest citadel in Malaysia. It was in-built Batu Gajah, Malaysia, by plantation proprietor William Kellie Smith in 1903 for his spouse Agnes. Sadly, when William introduced his spouse to the citadel, she was not pleased there and missed house. Nonetheless, William continued to broaden the constructing. When the Spanish flu hit, many building employees died. To please his Indian employees, he constructed a Hindu temple close to it. Sadly, in 1926, William died of pneumonia when he left for England to purchase a crane for the citadel tower. The constructing stays unfinished to at the present time and is usually rumoured to be haunted.

Sweetheart Abbey
Sweetheart Abbey, New Abbey, Dumfries, Scotland (Inventive Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0)

Scotland’s Sweetheart Abbey: It is a Thirteenth-century monument constructed by a widow as an affidavit of her lasting love for her husband. Woman Dervorguilla of Galloway constructed the red-stoned abbey in reminiscence of her husband, Lord John de Balliol. Guests passing by the Abbey will see her tomb alongside her husband’s embalmed coronary heart, which she saved in a casket of ivory and silver, and carried together with her in all places when she was alive.

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