As a nanny in the 80s, I walked around Hamsptead Heath pushing the baby in my charge, so I remember property's surrounding the vast parkland.
Along with the physical pomp and splendor, come links with a fascinating history of Cannon Hall's inhabitants. On an elevated site, commanding spectacular views of the city's skyline, the three floored red-brick house is the most historic property currently for sale in the prodigious area.
The famous family who lived there were at the heart of literary and theatrical London. Previous owners include Du Maurier’s father, Sir George du Maurier, the Punch cartoonist, and the brother of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, whose five boys inspired J M Barrie’s Peter Pan. (Gerald du Maurier played Captain Hook in the original production.)
The property's connection to Sir Lawrence Olivier dates from 1965, when he starred in the thriller Bunny Lake is Missing, Frogmore End in the movie, much of which was shot at the hall.
Cannon Hall's early history is just as intriguing. The name was derived from the pieces of old cannons dotted around the grounds. Apparently, they were placed there when Sir James Cosmo Melvill, a former secretary of the East India Company, lived there.
Thinking of Cannon Hall, it looks as if the place where the famous writer Daphne lived inspired part of the descriptions in her books. Would it be possible for a building to form part of a person's character? Grow up in a ghetto: act like a gangster, raised in a mansion: talk down to commoners.
My mother raised me in humble Australian surroundings, yet my father took me to a life of privilege on weekends. During my first marriage, we moved around a lot, but visited my mother and her second husband in a great mansion in the Adelaide Hills. So, I guess I saw life from both sides, whilst remaining grounded in reality.
What about you? Did your childhood home influence the person you are now?