Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Miles Copeland's castle

Above: Chateau Marouatte

St Apre, Dordogne 24, France - MILES Copeland, 63 year old brother of Stewart and erstwhile music manager of Sting and The Police, has toshed an old Dordogne chateau, Chateau Marouatte, using salvage from the UK and USA, according to an article in The Times by Karen Robinson.

As we wander through the salle d’honneur on the first floor of one of the keeps – the central stronghold beyond the now-drained moat – he explains his approach to castle decoration: “I go gothic. I like the look, but I’m not precious whether it’s from 1300 or 1400. I like Pugin revival pieces – old, but not as old as the castle. I think we have about a million dollars’ worth of furniture and fixtures here. But we’re fairly frugal. I’ll design a room and put up wall-paper myself.”

A huge stone fireplace sits at one end of the room; at the other is a 12ft-high wooden sideboard, in a rich shade of gravy, carved with figures of knights and musicians. It came from an auction house in Los Angeles, where the market for gothic gewgaws became seriously overheated for a while after Cher returned from Marouatte fired with enthusiasm.

A carved reredos hangs among suits of armour and holy statues. Ecclesiastical salvage is a vital component throughout, much of it acquired from an antiques shop on Portobello Road, west London. “The late Eddie Phillips knocked down more than 200 churches,” Copeland says, “and I’ve got bits of all of them.”

As we wander from room to room and tower to tower, up and down stone staircases, the effect of the exuberant styling – tapestries, tiles, decorative paint effects, coats of arms – is impressive. But the chateau does feel lived in, even though the family use it only as a holiday home these days. There’s a big television and a full-size billiards table in the games room, which has a touch of Hogwarts about it.

Miles Copeland has a background in music management and lives in California. Stewart Copeland was drummer with The Police. The Copeland family had a secret service American father who helped found the CIA after the second world war, and an English mother who worked for Special Operations Executive during the second world war.

Rocking at the chateau by Karen Robinson

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