Friday, November 6, 2015

News: Wentworth Woodhouse sold

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Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham, the largest privately-owned house in Europe, has been sold to a Hong Kong fund.

The historic Grade I listed mansion house went on the market with Savills plc earlier this year with an asking price of in excess of £8m after the Newbold family confirmed that they had decided to sell at the end of 2014.

It had been hoped that a charitable trust would acquire the property. By agreement with the Newbold family, who bought the house for a reported £2m, the newly formed Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust (WWPT) began fundraising last year and raised pledges of £3.4m and prepared detailed plans for the future of the property. The trust aimed to acquire the property if it could raise £7m. A further £42m needs to be spent on the fabric of the house over the next twelve to fifteen years to meet the backlog of repairs and subsidence damage.

Now Savills has confirmed that the Lake House Group, an investment company which has its headquarters in Hong Kong, have agreed terms to acquire the property. Exchange and completion are due to take place shortly.

A spokesman on behalf of Lake House Group said: "We are delighted to be involved with the purchase of Wentworth Woodhouse. It is our hope that we can work with some of the organisations which have also shown an interest in the property in order to save and preserve this magnificent historic house."

Lake House is a private family office based in Hong Kong. Its main investment focus is in real estate, equities, private equity funds and direct investment.

Recently added to the 2016 World Monuments Watch, the East Front of the house (pictured, top) measures 615 feet and its courts and buildings cover three acres or more of ground. It is thought to have 365 rooms but given its sheer size it is difficult to know what constitutes a corridor and what constitutes a room.

The estate extends to some 82 acres of gardens, parkland and woodland surrounded by the greater park and farmland of the Fitzwilliam Estate.

The WWPT's plans include continuing to offer tours to the public which would be carried out by the National Trust, using the building for events, creating holiday lets and apartments for rent, and converting the stables for use by enterprising businesses.

Wentworth Woodhouse website

Images: Savills

2 comments:

David Peart,  November 7, 2015 at 12:35 AM  

I am very disappointed that the house has been sold to an overseas investment group. Apparently the house had been offered to the WWPT for £7 million and they HAVE offered that price.. I wonder now why the offer from Lake House has been accepted, is it anything to do with greed I wonder?

Anonymous,  November 8, 2015 at 1:50 PM  

Where would the WWPT find the other £42 million from?
This is a private family controlled company, based in Hong Kong.
They may well be far better for the future of Wentworth Woodhouse than WWPT.
"Greed" is a strange socialist word, which actually applies to everyone of us. Do you go to the shop and pay more than you have to for your groceries. Did you sell your last house to a deserving poor couple for a fraction of its market value?

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