Price of historic home is too high for market

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THE price of a uniquely historic country house has been halved, but it’s still beyond the reach of most of us.

Apethorpe Hall, near Oundle, was put up for sale for offers between £4.5m and £5m in 2007 following an extensive rebuilding programme by English Heritage.

But after five years on the market and no buyers, the price has now been slashed to £2.5m.

The beautiful 15th century stately home was the subject of a fly-on-the-wall documentary in 2009 after English Heritage controversially decided to plough £4m of public money into saving it.

Previously, it had been owned by Libyan businessman Wanis Mohamed Burweila, who let it fall into disrepair after he left the country in the early 1980s.

English Heritage bought the hall by compulsory purchase in 2004.

Any buyer must have about £4m of their own money on top of the purchase price to plough into further repairs and redevelopment of the house.

An English Heritage spokesman said: “We realised after we put Apethorpe on the market the first time the price was too high.

“We believe the hall is very competitively priced in today’s tough market conditions and it will find a buyer.”

The hall is Grade I listed and is one of a handful of surviving houses which were visited by three of English history’s most celebrated monarchs – Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I.

The particulars of the property, which is being marketed by Savils, say the house was developed as the focal point and power base of leading Tudor and Jacobean families closely involved with the Court of England’s ruling monarchs for more than 150 years, from Edward IV to Charles I.

Their connections, whether through politics, marriage or religion, contributed to the development of Apethorpe as a major country house.

It is set in 45 acres and includes an early Tudor great hall, a suite of state rooms and gate tower as well as a unique roof walk and Georgian orangery.

It is open for guided tours from June 1. The tours run every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 10.30am, 1pm and 3.30pm, and last an hour and a half. Entry is £7.50 per person.

To book a place on a guided tour, call 0870 333 1183.