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Archive for Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jayhawk’s home really is his castle

KU alumnus returns to campus to talk about centuries-old abode in England

Sir Robert Worcester, a Kansas University graduate who has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth, was at KU’s Hall Center for Humanities on Tuesday giving a history of Allington Castle, his home in the county of Kent, England.

Sir Robert Worcester, a Kansas University graduate who has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth, was at KU’s Hall Center for Humanities on Tuesday giving a history of Allington Castle, his home in the county of Kent, England.

October 21, 2009

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Sir Robert Worcester isn’t a typical Kansas University alumnus.

For starters, his house has 26 bathrooms.

He and his wife live in Allington Castle in the county of Kent in England, about 30 miles southeast of London.

Worcester, who graduated from KU in 1955, is founder of Market & Opinion Research International, commonly known as MORI.

Worcester, in addition to being a Knight of the British Empire, also serves as one of Her Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenants in the county of Kent. He holds dual British and American citizenship today, having lived for many years in both countries.

He led a discussion on the history of his castle for friends of the Hall Center for the Humanities on Tuesday.

Its history harks back to the time of Normans, Celts and Romans, and it has also housed advisers to Henry VIII.

It fell into disrepair before being renovated in the early 20th century, he said, but today serves as a glimpse into the past.

“Nine out of 10 people, they go through the door and they see the great hall. Their first word is ‘Wow,’” Worcester said. “I still think, ‘Wow.’”

In addition to a huge great hall, the castle has towers, spaces for archers to shoot arrows and, yes, a moat. Worcester said he often joked with anyone who asked about the moat.

“Would I buy a castle without a moat?” he said. “No, certainly not.”

Heating costs can be a challenge, he said, but he and his wife can live in most of the area.

He has maintained ties to the university, having endowed a professorship at KU in his field of public opinion.

“It changed my life,” he said of KU, recalling visiting an engaging lecture that sparked his interest in politics with Kenneth Dam, who would go on to serve in various Republican presidential administrations.

Without the experience, he had no idea where he may have ended up. Though likely in some form of business, it would have led to a life vastly different from the one he’s lived.

“When I was that age, I figured if I’d earn over $25,000 I’d make it,” Worcester said.

He said that while he’s worked hard throughout his life, he’s often found himself in the right place at the right time.

“I’m just lucky,” he said.

Comments

Seamus 4 years, 6 months ago

Does anyone really care if he's been knighted? Or that his house has 26 bathrooms?

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ahyland 4 years, 6 months ago

In reference to photos, if you click the photo above, you can see a bit bigger image of the castle behind Sir Robert's shoulder. And, as some have mentioned here, there are a few photos a quick Google search away.

Thanks to all for reading.

Andy Hyland KU reporter

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lily 4 years, 6 months ago

Hey, it's an interesting story. Glad he's got the heating bills and not me!!!

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I_smell_poop 4 years, 6 months ago

I bet his moat smells like poop.

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Practicality 4 years, 6 months ago

"Worcester, in addition to being a Knight of the British Empire. . . . "

This guy seems like a cool guy and all, but, no offense, he seems a little old to be fighting off Dragons and rescuing a Princess if you ask me.

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puddleglum 4 years, 6 months ago

Owning a castle and a moat? big deal.

why would you want your poop floating around in a circle outside your house? maybe to keep the buffaloes away?

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number1jayhawker 4 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for the link, ParrotHead8.

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autie 4 years, 6 months ago

We had a moat back in July 2007. And we can shoot arrows off the porch as long as the police ain't around. But the river went back down and we didn't have a moat no more.

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coldplay 4 years, 6 months ago

Did this guy write a fatty check to the University or did he just enjoy the fatty check they wrote him for coming to speak about his moat?

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parrothead8 4 years, 6 months ago

Very cool. Sounds like this KU grad has done well. I agree...pics of his castle to go with the story would have been cool. I Googled it and found this one:

http://www.picturesofengland.com/img/L/1085156.jpg

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flux 4 years, 6 months ago

Ha Ha Sad_lawrencian is a dumb ass

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FatTony 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm sorry sad_lawrencian, but what is the point of your existence?

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Maracas 4 years, 6 months ago

It's a human interest story. It doesn't have to have a point.

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davidsmom 4 years, 6 months ago

It's just an interesting story. There doesn't have to be any other point all the time.

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sad_lawrencian 4 years, 6 months ago

I'm sorry, but what is the point of this story?

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