Sunday, 6 November 2011

Perfectly Private

Princess Margaret once commented: “I have as much privacy as a goldfish in a bowl.” Today personalities complain that they have no private time and that with the likes of the News of the World hacking their phones and cameras being shoved in their faces from the minute they leave their homes, that certainly seems to be somewhat true. That most of these characters, unlike Princess Margaret, chose their roles is also a point that many of them fail to keep in mind.

 The exterior of Holderness House, 12 Brick Street, London, W1

A Mayfair residence at 11 Brick Street in Mayfair, now known as Holderness House, is a building that has always fascinated me because of its privacy glazed windows and large electric gates. It is a building that looks as if it was originally part of the adjoining church and one where what goes on can plainly be kept out of view.

 Johnny Depp

Yesterday, after listening to an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme by Sarah Montague, I discovered that this vast residence is currently home to the world’s highest paid actor, Johnny Depp.

 The secluded courtyard gardens of Holderness House

Previously listed for rent in August 2009 for £23,000 a week, red-brick built Holderness House is also listed in this month’s London Magazine through agents Savills for £40,000 per week furnished. The house offers nearly 13,000 square foot of accommodation that includes 7 bedroom suites, vast entertaining spaces and a basement leisure complex of a swimming pool, bar, pool room, gym and solarium. Courtyard and roof top gardens complete this most luxurious of havens.

 The leisure complex of Holderness House

Depp, who is in London to promote his film, The Rum Diary, based on his friend Hunter S. Thompson’s 1959 novel, spoke at length in the Radio 4 interview about fame and anonymity:

“Fame doesn’t exist without a price… It’s not a complaint… I’m very privileged to have this job… But there are a certain few things I miss… If I had anonymity, I’d just walk around… Just walk down the street… Go to the pub.”

“I don’t go out very much,” concluded Depp, so Holderness House, which is said to be worth circa £50 million, must be just perfect. The courtyard also conceals a car lift that leads to a 39ft by 27ft underground garage. Any trip out, therefore, can be made in a blacked out car without the paparazzi getting even an inkling.

 Berkeley Castle's secret entrance

Michael Hutchene, who himself once occupied the secluded Berkeley Castle in Mayfair’s Mount Row, once stated: It's just as difficult to live in a self-made hell of privacy as it is to live in a self-made hell of publicity.” Living in the privacy of Holderness House, however, certainly would allow for that “hell” to be perfectly comfortable.

For more information on Holderness House contact Mark Tunstall of Savills Mayfair on +44 (0) 20 7578 5101 or email View full details at:

Read more about Berkeley Castle, which has also been occupied by Tony Blair, Paula Yeates, Melanie Griffiths, Antonio Banderas, Maureen Starkey (former wife of Ringo Starr) and Cher at:

For more on The Rum Diary see:


Anonymous said...

This is one amazing house. I'm equally intrigued by Berkeley Castle. I wonder who bought it. Would love to see inside both.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to visit this place tomorrow. I want Johnny D's autograph.

Matthew Steeples said...

I did visit Berkeley Castle myself in, I think, 2003 when it was for sale through another agent who I did some work for. It was a truly spectacularly eccentric house hidden down a little passage way. I neglected to mention that it had also been owned by Matthew Freud and a Russian minister from the Yeltsin era. This is a house that hides a lot of secrets.

Carl Thomas said...

It looks a bit dark.

Anonymous said...

Seems a bit overpriced if that really is the weekly rent. Are you sure it isn't £4000 a week or even £40 grand a month?

Colin Lay said...

It's opposite The Playboy Club. Surely the rent needs readjusting downwards as a result.

Ralph Brubaker said...

The world's most overpaid actor. 
As an American, I cringe when I see such smugness.

melodoubt said...

It's a prison, a very nice prison but a prison none the less.  Give us  knock Mr D when next you're up in Norfolk and I'll sneak you out for a pint.  : )