Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Country mansion for sale, Darlington

We're talking lottery win here. Or finding the rest of the Staffordshire Hoard in your potato patch.
Either way, it's not just the £500k-plus price tag but the cost of renovating listed Grade II*  Sockburn Hall (and potentially its scarily Grade-I listed church).
But it is such a beautiful dilapidated country pile. Just look at these pictures:

Even if two readers hadn't emailed me, I'd have wanted to feature it.
(Liam: "I did some work here last year – The current owners grew up here but sadly they are losing the battle to keep the place in one piece!!", and Pete: "It is a project that an old school friend has been running for the past 8 years, but sadly their funding is no longer sustainable... an amazing project if someone has the money!")
Plus then I read the pdf blurb and the bit about the previous mansion on the site and Sir John Conyer, 13th century slayer of the Sockburn Worm...!
Anyway, more pictures.

The property includes Sockburn Hall, the coach house and stable block above, and the church.
Plus over 14 acres of land, adjoining the River Tees, including paddock, lime tree avenue and gardens.
The property is (was?) owned by the elderly Gatheral sisters. Their parents bought it from investors in the 1950s.
The Gatheral's niece Laura and her mum Sarah, with a hardworking group of friends and volunteers have been working since 2007 to try and restore it.
Their battle is documented on Laura's lovely blog here and this 2007 English Heritage report details the historical importance of that battle.
Sockburn Hall is on the market as a whole at offers over £500k, although the sale of the church is subject to agreement by Church Commissioners.
Agents are Jackson Stops - details here and PDF here.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Two Welsh do-ups with a royal neighbour

Couldn't decide whether, at £255k, this was pricey for Llandovery or not. 
On the one hand you get two detached houses in the Brecons, with land fronting a stream - and Prince Charles as your neighbour.
On the other you get two wrecks in the middle of nowhere.
Upper House (pictured above) has kitchen, hall and living room downstairs; two bedrooms and bathroom upstairs.
Lower House (pictured below) is basically two large rooms - a kitchen/living room downstairs and 24ft x16ft A-framed room upstairs.

They're both in need of total renovation and there are no services. Plus access is via a track.
The overgrown grounds front onto a stream and include a derelict former mill.

Abertriphlwyf is about a mile outside the village of Myddfai, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, around four  miles from Lllandovery.
It's on the market through Clee Tompkinson Francis. Details and more pictures here and on Zoopla here.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Five fabulous Italian palazzi...

It's a good job I've got you lot out there.
Because when things are completely pear-shaped back here, you keep sending me the most amazing properties to get things going again.
Like this batch of Italian beauties - sent to me by reader Robine.
Robine is a Dutch jewellery designer and she and her husband have been doing up a holiday house in Italy. She sent me a whole bunch of links to some stunning Italian "wrecks" via Immobiliare ("the Italian version of 'Zoopla'").
Everything's in Italian, and rather than me embarrass myself with guesswork and Babelfishing, I'm just going to concentrate on pics.
This palazzo in Teano, in Campania, above and below, is at the top of the price range at euro650k, but is SO Italian Job:

Private garden (with crumbling statues), terrace and around 1000sqm of space. More here.
There are no external pics of the Palazzo below, in Lendinara, Veneto, and I'm not entirely certain whether it's one building or part of bigger building.
You get 1600sqm of space across (possibly) three floors - all with the most stunning fresco walls:

The property comes with balcony, terrace and a private garden. Robine wrote:
"this is a competely amazing palazzo of old nobility. I am not sure, but it might even come with all the furniture.."
It's on the market at Euro350k and listed as "to renovate". More here.
The Moorish-style palazzo below is in Nardo, Puglia, and about 5km from the sea. There's a terrace, garden, no kitchen and (I think) three bedrooms over two floors.

Also listed as in need of renovation, it's on the market at Euro220k. More here.
Listed as in habitable condition is the palazzo, below, in Ispani, Campania.
A traditional, detached rural villa with a separate tower, it has two bathrooms, kitchen, arched loggia with stunning seaviews, and a lovely garden.

It's on the market at euro230k. More here.
Finally - and possibly my favourite, this townhouse is one of several Robine sent me (I've saved the rest for another post..).
Smaller, cheaper (euro180k) with a sweet courtyard and some gorgeous features. Just look at that ceiling and the fab tiled kitchen!

It's in the small town of Torre Santa Susanna, close to the Puglia coastline. Listed as in need of restoration. More here.
One last point from Robine:
"Any 'foreigner' (also for EU people) is obliged to pay 11% tax over the selling price of the property. The Italian government considers this as buying 'a second home' ('seconda casa'). With selling/buying property in Italy it is most common to make any offer far below asking price!"

Monday, 2 March 2015

RAF control tower (and zombie safe house...)

I have no idea what you'd do with most of these buildings, other than it's just such an amazing and unusual property I had to feature it! 
It's a former RAF bombing range control tower and assorted outbuildings (including one housing it's own generator). Surrounded by a secure compound and with uninterrupted views for miles and miles across the flat lands of Lincolnshire.
Am I the only person here thinking Walking Dead and zombie apocalypse safe house?

It was first spotted by one of my readers but I can't for the life of me find his email now - but whoever you are, thank you!
The property is at Sea Lane, Friskney, about 11 miles from Boston, and consists of the four-storey control tower and observation platform (with flagpole..of course); the generator building; two detached buildings each with a kitchen and several rooms, and a shuttered workshop.

Access is via a private land and the views - across Friskney sands and over the wash - are stunning.
It's on the market through William H Brown with a guide price of £300k - details here and on Zoopla here.