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Newmarket home of race horse owner gets Grade II listing

PUBLISHED: 15:31 17 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:49 17 October 2017

Newmarket

Newmarket

© chris rawlings 2012

The Newmarket home of the eccentric race horse owner Dorothy Wyndham Paget has been given Grade II listing by Historic England, 70 years after the listing scheme came into place.

The public body, which protects historic buildings and Forest Heath District Council, deemed Soham House of such national architectural and social importance, in terms of its associations to horse racing, that they decided to protect it forever.

Dorothy Paget was the daughter of Lord Queensborough, the MP for Cambridge early last century, and she lived at the house when she was in Newmarket until 1952. She is recorded as leading an unconventional lifestyle including the clothes she wore and the time of day she lived.

She slept all day and got up at night, when she spent hours on the phone to her bookmaker. In fact it’s said many bookmakers had a dedicated member of staff just to take calls and bets from her. By the time she died of heart failure at the age of 54 in 1960 she was reported to be worth the equivalent of £100 million.

Soham House was built in 1892 for Wallace Johnstone, also a race horse owner, for entertaining while he was in Newmarket.

After Dorothy Paget moved out of Soham House, it was used as the Horse Racing Forensic Laboratory for 40 years, before being converted back to a family home and is now on the market with estate agents David Burr for £1.65m.

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