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Counter Culture / May 11, 2022

50 shades of Earl Grey: the pornographer who owned the National Maternity Hospital land

Counter Culture / May 11, 2022

50 shades of Earl Grey: the pornographer who owned the National Maternity Hospital land

Words: Eva O’Beirne

Truly the plot twist of the day.

The current owner of the land that Holles Street resides on is William Herbert, the 18th Earl of Pembroke. His dad, Henry Herbert, was a filmmaker who once directed a pornographic historical film, which was eventually rated R.

And the lead actress dated Prince Andrew.

As reported by Gavan Reilly today, Ireland’s National Maternity Hospital, chaired by the Archbishop of Dublin, used to be the tenant of a pornographer.

The 1976 film Emily, also known as The Awakening of Emily, tells the story of a seventeen-year-old girl being pursued by various middle-aged men and women who wish to seduce her. The Earl used his own house as the setting of the film.

Between her mother’s middle-aged lover, to an acrobatic American with a “flying machine”, Emily was even featured in series four of The Crown. In the 1980s the film was rejected by the British Board of Film Classification because of a scene showing two women embracing in a shower.

And somehow this is all connected to Holles Street. Mad.

Elsewhere on District: Hugh Cooney invites you to Folklord Experimental Tales II