Jonathan Miller
19 May 2022


LONDON. MAY 2022. River Cottage in Great Barford, Bedfordshire, the former home of renowned romance novelist, Dame Barbara Cartland DBE (1901-2000), is to be awarded a classic heritage ‘blue plaque’ to acknowledge that she resided there and to celebrate her contribution to literature. The plaque is awarded by the British Plaque Trust, of which Charles, 9th Earl Spencer is the patron.

River Cottage was home to Barbara Cartland from 1941 to 1949 and held fond memories for her children; Ian McCorquodale (born 11 October 1937), Glen McCorquodale (born 1939) and Diana, Princess of Wales’ step-mother, Countess Raine Spencer (1929-2016). Coincidentally the current owner’s sister holds the same name of Raine and although it’s many years since Barbara lived in the house, it has been sympathetically decorated with certain nods to the ‘Queen of Romance’ everywhere. Amongst them is a bedroom decorated in Dame Barbara’s favoured pink, in homage to her (Dame Barbara wore a signature shade of pink, known as ‘Cartlandese Pink’ and even launched a range of pastel pink homewares, named ‘Decorating with Love’, at the American department store Macy’s). There is also pink planting in the garden and three external doors painted in shocking pink, to allude to her former presence in the house.

In a letter to the Old Barfordian Association dated February 25th, 2018 Ian McCorquodale, Dame Barbara Cartland’s son, writes: “Indeed I do remember the very happy times we spent as a family at River Cottage and how sad we were to leave our lovely home. I loved Great Barford and so did my mother.”

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