Interesting kids down the block. Their chalk drawings inspired this haiku: Hopscotch? Much too tame. / These kids are C.S.I. fans / or quite macabre. And their art got me thinking about death and taxes and impending changes to the federal estate tax.
Alice in Wonderland facts: fact #12: Carroll gave the manuscript of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Alice Liddell as a Christmas gift, but she had to sell it when her husband died to be able to pay death duties.
Another nice tiara, originally Thurn und Taxis, sold in '92 to pay death duties, then sold again, I believe, in 2005. The pear diamonds on top are detachable. The sketch of the Furstin Margarethe Clementine, Duchess of Mecklenberg-Strelitz (married Erbprinz Carl Alexander von Thurn und Taxis, who succeeded his father as Fürst in 1805) calls wearing a tiara as a hair ornament the "Napoleonic style" followed even after the Bourbon restoration in 1815
Brogyntyn Hall - Shropshire has stood abandoned for 15 years, was owned by the Lord Harlech until 2000. Settled in the 1600s, the family was one of the great English dynasties. Unfortunately a string of tragedies including 2 Lords Harlech dying without wills, leaving massive death duties to be paid, saw the decline of the family fortunes and subsequent sale of the Hall. It was also used during the war by British Telecom as headquarters for communications for the spy network operating in…
Baron Hill Beaumaris, Anglesey - During World War I, death duties soaked up the family fortune and made it impossible for the family (by then called Williams-Bulkeley) to continue to maintain the house. In World War II the Royal Engineers were stationed at the house. It was later damaged by fire, but the shell of the house survives.
Lathallan House, Polmont. Issues of ownership and death duties caused the abandonment of the Estate as a family home and all aspects of the existing building structures were left to dereliction and full title was eventually acquired by Mr. A. Stewart in 1998. By this time, the various structures within the Estate were the regular targets of vandals, despite efforts to secure the properties and rapidly fell into further dereliction.