The Mitford Sisters
Dedicated to the most scandalous bunch of sisters of the 20th century. Diana the Fascist, Jessica the Communist, Unity the Hitler-lover, Nancy the Novelist, Deborah the Duchess and Pamela the unobtrusive poultry connoisseur.
You can find my non-Mitford related posts at therealhousewivesofwesteros.tumblr.com
A POSH manor house built by the Mitford family has been badly damaged after a blaze broke out in the drawing room.
Fire crews rushed to the sprawling three-storey mansion and battled to save the hundreds of valuable antiques inside.
Six people — said to be guests and staff members — had to be evacuated from the historic three-storey home as acrid black smoke engulfed the property.
Two of those evacuated had to be treated by paramedics at the scene — one for a suspected broken ankle and the other for smoke inhalation.
Meanwhile, firefighters with breathing apparatus struggled to stop the flames spreading as others worked to save valuable heirlooms within Swinbrook House.
The imposing mansion — on the outskirts of Swinbrook, near Burford, Oxfordshire — was built in in 1926 by the second Baron Redesdale, David Freeman-Mitford.
It was home to his daughters — the six Mitford sisters — who were famous for their socialite antics and controversial political opinions.
The eldest, Nancy, became a celebrated writer, while Jessica and Deborah married the nephews of prime-ministers Winston Churchill and Harold Macmillan.
Pamela wed millionaire scientist Derek Jackson and was muse to celebrated poet John Betjeman.
Unity and Diana were well-known as pals of Adolf Hitler. Diana later became the second wife of high-profile fascist Sir Oswald Mosely and mum to former Formula 1 boss Max Mosely.
The Mitfords left Swinbrook House in 1935 and the current occupier — who was not at home when the fire broke out — is thought to be an elderly woman who rents the property.
Rescue crews estimate 70 per cent of the country house has been affected by smoke.
Fire incident commander Nick Bourke said: “It appears to be quite a famous house.
“It was absolutely beautiful but sadly there will be some items which are beyond repair.”