Struggling Care Worker Becomes Lord of $60 Million English Estate After DNA Test Proves He's Heir
The original owner, Charles Rogers, died in August 2018 of an overdose following decades of hard drug use
It reads like a script from a Hollywood movie.
When British aristocrat Charles Rogers died in August 2018, it was believed there was no heir to inherit his sprawling $60 million country estate in Cornwall, England.
That’s before a DNA test was carried out on the 62-year-old lord-of-the manor, who overdosed in his car at the 1,536-acre Penrose Estate following decades of hard drug use.
In a remarkable twist, the results showed that Rogers did, in fact, have an heir — struggling care worker Jordan Adlard-Rogers, 31, from the nearby town of Porthleven, Cornwall Live reported.
According to the outlet, Adlard-Rogers — who reportedly grew up in a council house and suffered long periods of financial hardship — has now quit his job and moved into the estate with partner Katie Hubber, 30, and their newborn son Joshua.
But not before he treated Kate to a trip to New York after being handed the keys to Penrose, which was bought by the Rogers family in 1771.
To cap it all, Adlard-Rogers also now reportedly receives a $1,300-a-week trust fund, according to Cornwall Live.
“I haven’t been here long and don’t know all the ins and outs but have been able to piece some of the puzzle together,” Adlard-Rogers told Cornwall Live about his life-changing events.
“Charles never actually lived in the estate. He lived in one of the estate’s farmhouses as his mum lived here so he never got the chance to inherit it. They died two weeks apart and his brother was also in line to live in the estate before him,” Adlard-Rogers said.
“It’d got to the point when he gave up on himself and was living in his car instead of his house as it was such a mess,” Adlard-Rogers said of his father.
These days Penrose is run by historical charity the National Trust, which was gifted the estate by the Rogers family in 1974 in return for a 1,000-year lease to continue living there. It has since been turned into a tourist destination complete with a café, walled gardens, holiday cottages, plus miles of hiking, bike and horseback trails.
It also boasts a combination of farmland and woodland, an ancient silver mine and is said to be where King Arthur was mortally wounded and died.
Adlard-Rogers’ rags-to-riches story is also heavily tinged with sadness. Growing up within a mile of the estate, he reportedly knew from the age of eight that Charles Rogers may have been his dad.
“He offered to do a DNA test when I was younger but it didn’t happen and then when I was 18 I knocked on his door and asked if I could have the test and he told me to do it through the solicitors,” Adlard-Rogers told Cornwall Live. “I was 18 so had other priorities at the time.”
He added, “I wrote more letters in my twenties but never got a reply, then three years ago I got in contact with power of attorney Philip Care. Philip said Charles didn’t want to do the test, so I wrote one final letter with a DNA test kit enclosed and that was when Philip rang and told me Charles was dead.”
It was at this point that the DNA test was finally carried out and Adlard-Rogers’ life changed forever. Yet it remains a bittersweet event – and probably always will.
“People say I’m lucky but I would trade anything to be able to go back and for Charles to know I was his son,” Adlard-Rogers told Cornwall Live.
“Maybe then he might have taken a different path.”
For now, he’s busy getting his “feet under the table” and adjusting to his new life as lord-of-the-manor.
Having grown up poor, he’s also determined that others will now benefit from his belated good fortune.
“I don’t need to work anymore so want to set up a charity and help the Porthleven and Helston communities,” Adlard-Rogers told Cornwall Live.
“I’ve been at the point of worrying about the next bill and have had a tough start in life but now I’m here I want to help people. I’m not going to forget where I’ve come from.”