A DOLMEN from Jersey has got in the way of an entertainer’s plans for a new pool house at his £8.5 million Berkshire mansion.
James Corden was forced to scrap the new indoor and outdoor swimming pool, yoga studio, gym, terrace, massage room, steam room and sauna because of the property’s proximity to the Mont de la Ville dolmen, which is located on the actor’s 43-acre estate in Wokingham.
The Grade-II-listed structure was discovered in the late-18th century on the site later occupied by Fort Regent and was subsequently given to Henry Seymour Conway, the Island’s governor who was responsible for erecting many of the round towers that protected Jersey from French invasion.
Field Marshal Conway, as he later became, had the dolmen transported to his Henley-on-Thames estate, where it was re-erected and remains to this day – although there is local interest in having the monument repatriated.
The star was granted planning permission by Wokingham Borough Council to demolish the old home and pool house and replace it with a new six-bedroom property, but the part of the application relating to a new pool house was rejected.
In a report, UK planning officer Simon Taylor said it had initially been intended for the pool house to be ‘reduced in size and relocated further north due to harm to the setting of the Druid’s Temple’.
However, it was then removed from the proposal altogether as ‘its relocation posed issues for existing trees, and the resulting potential for impact upon the registered park and garden’.
In 2021, then Assistant Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel described the possible return of the dolmen as ‘a very interesting idea’, but stressed that it was dependent in the first instance on the attitude of the current property owners and that there was a ‘long way to go’.