A huge Somerset mansion sold at auction yesterday, off a guide price more suited to a modest family home.
The Grade I listed, 17th century Halswell House in Somerset was offered for sale with a guide of £250,000-£500,000 by Clive Emson auctioneers
at an auction held at the St Mellion International Resort in Cornwall.
On the day, the property fetched well in excess of its bargain basement estimate, selling for £1,125,000. The new owner is a private individual who is expected to make the property home, said the auctioneers.
“This sale was a unique opportunity.
Halswell House is potentially a magnificent private home or exciting business opportunity. Chances to bid on something of this scale and of such historical and architectural importance are astonishingly rare,” said auctioneer Graham Barton.
Architecture expert Nikolaus Pevsner once described the mansion as: “the most important house of its
date in the country”. The vast historic property is generally “fairly
well presented” said the auctioneers.
It was sold on behalf of the receivers after being run as a wedding venue. It comes with 31
acres of land.
The buyer decided to snap up all the lots on offer, which included five estate houses forming the whole hamlet around the main house. The sale also included a grand but derelict Tudor house, built in 1536, which requires substantial investment for restoration.
The guide price for the whole estate was
Halswell House sits in the Grade II listed Halswell Park in Goathurst near Bridgwater.
The huge Palladian block is in better condition and was completed in 1689.
The grounds include a grotto and temple, as well as an enormous dovecot.
During the Second World War the property was a school. The National Trust declined the opportunity to take on the house after the Second World War.
Graham Barton, who is the West Country’s featured auctioneer on BBC1’s Homes Under the Hammer, said of the sale: “We had a great deal of interest from a variety of parties.
“Ultimately the bidding war came down to two individuals.
“The mansion and Tudor manor are set in 30 acres of Somerset countryside and we understand the new owner intends to call the mansion ‘home’.
“Five houses on the estate were purchased with the lot so the new owner is well on his way to having his own hamlet.
“The Tudor manor house does need some urgent and major investment but the mansion is in good enough condition for the new owner to move into straight away.”