High atop a hillside off Old Hickory Boulevard sits Royal Manor. Behind the gated community of Woodward Hills, this elegant property is not just an architectural jewel but a warm and comfortable home to its occupants, Joy and J.R. Roper and their two Westies, Queenie and Cassie.
The Ropers moved to Brentwood in 1995, then to Franklin in 1998, and back to Brentwood in 2007 to their “Royal Manor.” “We love the sense of community in Williamson County. We appreciate the attention to preservation and to the great educational systems in the county,” says JR. “Because we attend many music and social events in Nashville, our home is conveniently located in Brentwood but only fifteen minutes from downtown Nashville.”
The architectural style of the house, as described by renowned architect J Terry Bates, is High Italian. The interior is also very Italian in style. It features beautiful Italian hand painted frescoes as well as elaborate European Masonry window and door trim treatments
The house was completed in 2004. Built by Barry and Todd Zeitlin, the exterior and interior trim work is some of the finest in middle Tennessee. The interiors were hand selected and procured by Interior Designer, Kathy Zeitlin. The Zeitlins appropriately named the estate “Royal Manor” in honor of their favorite pooch, Royal.
The 2.35 acres of the estate are part of the last section that originally belonged to the Ward family. The Ward Farm, better known today as Maryland Farms, was the home of Jim Ward, the only child of J Truman and Mary Ward. Maryland, as it was called, was the stopping off and resting place for many thoroughbreds in the 40’s and 50’s for equestrians traveling from the south to the Triple Crown. At that time, Maryland included two training tracts for American Saddle Horses and Tennessee Walking Horses. It was the home of the famous American Ace. The gated community now has thirteen homes.
The original structure had a basement that was above grade on three sides. This basement was finished off by previous owners using the exact materials matching the rest of the home. They also added a full kitchen, a full bath, 2 half baths and a 5th bedroom. The basement is bright and sunny with 17.8’ windows and glass window paned French doors. At the same time the previous owners added a $250,000.00 salt-water spa, stone brook, infinity pool and tons of stacked stonewalls and terraces.
While the structure of the home is nothing short of impressive, the inside is also exceptionally grand and unique, thanks to the beautiful collection of furniture, artwork and other pieces belonging to the Ropers. Much of the furnishings in the house are family heirlooms. The antique dining table and breakfront were selected and purchased from Northgate Galleries and specifically chosen to mimic the masonry arches in the formal dining room. The Steinway Grand piano is the focal point of the formal
living/music room. This room is used by the Ropers, both musically gifted individuals, to entertain their guests after dinners and during parties. Their art collection includes local artist Harold Kraus, Cuban artist Rolando Diaz, a Justin Gaffrey acrylic and many others.
For the Ropers, who are now in the process of downsizing to accommodate hectic real estate careers and the absence of their only son Jameson from the home, their “oasis” back yard will always hold their fondest memories. “Jameson, held court most week-ends with about forty to fifty of his friends throughout his high school and college years. We miss those days the most,” says Joy. “Christmas Parties that featured so many wonderful performers over the years. Martin Johnson, Dan and Shay, just to mention a few, are also treasured memories we take with us of this house,” the Ropers say. But October 10, 2015 has to be the most memorable event to treasure, as it was the date Jameson married the beautiful Devin Grissom of Memphis. “The wedding was held on our property with a fountain and formal garden as the backdrop. The tented party to follow was also a night to remember. Martin Johnson, who wrote the duet he recorded with Taylor Swift, performed that song, “Two Is Better Then One,” for the newlyweds first dance,” JR recalls.
This special home has more memories to make. And despite the fact that the Ropers will soon move on, their hope is that a new family will fill its walls with a new history of their own. “The sense of permanence and place in history of Brentwood has brought us much satisfaction, knowing that we live and create on property that has such an equestrian heritage. The front gates are ornamented with a pair of horses. In the central island, a pair of bronze horses greet every visitor. And at the entrance of Royal Manor, a pond is the home of a cast bronze fountain that features dancing thoroughbreds,” says JR.
Make Royal Manor Yours.
Contact Joy Roper with Caden Roper