Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 4 March 2015

The real Appledore: Owner of mansion used in Sherlock doesn't live in home as wife thinks it's too flashy

The 'Appledore' mansion pictured during the final episode of the BBC's Sherlock
The 'Appledore' mansion pictured during the final episode of the BBC's Sherlock
The 'Appledore' mansion pictured during the final episode of the BBC's Sherlock

The owner of the futuristic villain’s mansion used in the final episode of the BBC’s Sherlock does not live in the property, as his wife thinks the estate is too flashy.

Swinhay House in Gloucestershire, renamed Appledore in the BBC drama, is owned by Sir David McMurtry – the boss of the precision engineering firm Renishaw.

Sir David, who was knighted in 2001, told The Telegraph that his wife Terry prefers more modest living instead of the Cotswold stone and metal-clad mansion, whose atrium alone spans twenty six metres. 

The fictional home to the villain Charles Augustus Magnussen in Sherlock boasts 10 floors across three wings, with a bowling alley, a squash court, panorama room, a 14.5 metre high viewing tower, and an adjustable 25 metre floating-floor swimming pool.

It also has eight bedrooms, an eight bay underground garage, and a fully enclosed, and glazed winter garden. A highly sophisticated computer controls the house’s environmental systems.

Sir David helped architects design the 30,000sq ft residence. It was given planning permission as a so-called Millennium Mansion in 2000, which saw houses of exceptional architectural interest be built within green belt land.

As well as a setting for Sherlock, the mansion has been used for fashion shoots and last year staged an open-air performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The mansion is frequently used to host charity fund-raising events hosted by Sir David.

Sir David and Renishaw co-founder John Deer manufacture metrology devices that are crucial to every car on the road and plane in the skies.

He donated the proceeds from recording the drama at his property to charitable causes.

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