Gary Barlow's former home, Cuddington, Cheshire


Here I am at Delamere Manor, the former home of Gary Barlow from Take That. I meandered through narrow lanes that cut through verdant countryside and arrived at tall gates. I’d read the manor was now a hotel and guessed it would be so busy with wedding guests that I’d mingle and perhaps snaffle a free bit of sherry trifle. However the gates were closed and I would have to climb onto the roof of the motor home to scale the wall. Bum, this was unexpected. Surely a hotel would be open?


I had a plan showing Delamere Manor and saw there was another drive further along the lane. I drove up the drive and found myself along in a guests car park near some large stables. Horses heads appeared at doorways but there was nobody around. I opened the side door of the motor home and sat on the step for ten minutes with a glass of orange but nobody appeared. I could see the chimney of the manor house in the mid-distance and headed to it. Nobody stopped me, nobody appeared from a side door. No Doberman’s came to eat me. I walked around to the front of the charming manor house and sat on the chairs arranged  on the veranda. Gary and his family lived here for ten years and they'd have sat here with him probably trying to write music.


After ten minutes pretending to polish my camera and phone I realised I had the place to myself. As nobody appeared from the patio doors I went for a stroll around the expansive grounds. The back lawn slopes down to a s-ix acre lake and some small follies are dotted around. There was also a disused tennis court. I drank some water from a tap used to water to vast lawns and stood in one of the follies. I'm sure Gary must have sat here writing lyrics. His brother and family still live next door so I'm sure packs of kids have played on this vast lawn over the years. Having the place to myself was beginning to sink in. I thought, "I might let myself into the house, grab a bowl of raspberry pavlova from the fridge and settle down on the king-size bed."


Gary bought this 100-acre estate in 1995 for £1 million after the money flooded in and he designed the insides of the house in homage to Elton John’s home apparently (i.e. probably crass and over-the-top). The open view at the rear of the house makes you wonder why he sold it but if you read his autobiography he couldn’t wait to sell the place and felt relief in his stomach on the day he left the drive for the last time. He’d had a few years in the musical wilderness - Take That's break-up, being bored, overweight, unable to write music and goaded by the media about Robbie Williams's success.


Alerted by the sounds of a horse braying I knew I wasn’t alone and less likely to burgle the place and empty the safe in the master bedroom. Returning to the stables I found a girl of about 20 mucking out one of the horses. The stables and indoor paddock were about half the size of a football pitch and she had a few horses to sort out. She’d just led one back in from the surrounding fields which - along with the manor - are owned by a rich woman who lives in Miami for most of the year.

    “You’re lucky to find the place empty,” she said as the place was used for wedding venues. The owner had returned from Miami as her favourite horse was about to have surgery (I gave it my apple core.) Gary had flown her to a concert in Dublin to complete the sale of the house for £4.8 million.


The young woman didn’t want any help and wasn’t bothered by a strange man turning up on the estate to ask lots of questions. She must have been a proper country lass as she asked me what it was like living in an urban area with neighbours.


These days Gary lives in a £20 million in Kensington and a £4 million manor house in Gloucestershire. I had a coffee and a vegetable burger on a muffin in the motor home and left the young woman alone on the 100 acre estate.


The website for the place is


















At the side...



At the rear...




The house when Gary owned it...