A Jacobean bargain?

May 24 2012

Image of A Jacobean bargain?

Picture: Savills

This is a bit off-topic, but we like discussing anything old here. A reader writes:

Not sure this is quite 'on topic' for your blog, but I noticed in Country Life yesterday that Apethorpe Hall in Northamptonshire has been put up for sale by English Heritage, through Savills, for £2.5m.

It's an amazing building but years of neglect left it on the verge of ruin, such that English Heritage compulsorily purchased it in 2004, under the 1990 Planning Act, only the second time these powers had been used. It cost £3.6m, plus a further £4m restoring the basic fabric. So £7.6m in all.

If the house goes for the asking price - and it will only be sold to someone willing to commit to further very expensive work, who's happy to let the public in for 28 days a year, can deal with some annoying trees that are owned separately, and doesn't mind that it comes with next to no land - the taxpayer will have lost over £5m.

Who will save this important ancient pile? Remember, there's room for plenty of pictures if you do!

Update - a reader writes:

One of your readers wrote;

".....and doesn't mind that it comes with next to no land"

Yes, only 45 acres according to the details - barely worth employing a gardener then.

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