The mansion dates back to 1905 and is set in the stunning Cambridgeshire countryside
The abandoned Victorian mansion, known as Redlands, will be going to auction with a guide price of £100,000 – £125,000 at the end of September and has an interesting backstory.
The home was last occupied in the 1950s and was then used for agricultural storage before falling derelict following several fires.
The property was built for Mr E. Sidney Thoday, a seed merchant, who then sold the property in 1910 to stockbroker William Stanley Spark.
Mr Spark lost his fortune during the stock market crash of 1929 and the home was then sold to Russian Lecturer Mr A. Besicovitch.
After World War Two, Mr F. L. Dawson, a banker, purchased the property. However, in 1956, a massive fire, which was thought to have been started by an electric heater, wrecked the inside of the home, ruining the interior and the majority of the roof.
The home was last occupied in the 1950s and was then used for agricultural storage
During its heyday, the 16-room home had a large entrance with stone steps, large reception spaces, elaborate mosaic flooring, huge fireplaces, an expansive cellar, eight bedrooms and servant’s quarters.
There was also a balcony running the length of the first floor and a full-size tennis lawn, orchard and gardens as well as farmland.
Now, the property is largely dilapidated and will need completely clearing and renovating by the new owners.
The home sits on a whopping 1.12 acres of overgrown gardens and there are a number of outbuildings on the property.
Some of the original details that have survived include the building’s red brick outer walls, stone flashings, a number of large chimneys and the vast reception room spaces.
The property is now owned by Mr Keith Tyler, who inherited the property from his father who bought it in 1959 for £900.
Mr Tyler said his father bought the house to restore and renovate, however, he never got to fulfil his dream.
The owner said: “My father was a carpenter and joiner by trade with a sideline of rush cutting, and he bought Redlands originally to store boats and to have an area for drying the rushes.
The property was built for Mr E Sidney Thoday, a seed merchant, who then sold the property in 1910
“His dream was to renovate the property and to this end he accumulated a huge amount of building materials, and being an inveterate collector throughout his life, also acquired everything including cars, boats and agricultural machinery, much of which remains at Redlands.
“Unfortunately, age overtook his ability to complete a renovation of the property, and he died in 2007 aged 100 years, leaving his dream unfulfilled.
“Throughout the years my family maintained the grounds and harvested the fruit from the orchard which was stored in the cellar. I have many fond memories of spending the weekends here as a child, playing in the gardens and throughout the enormous house.”
Unfortunately, the home’s bad luck continued with two more fires, the worst of which was in 1996.
The 1996 fire destroyed all the internal floors, most of the rooms, as well as what had remained of the original roof.
Now, the property is largely dilapidated and will need completely clearing
Mr Tyler continued: “I really hope that someone falls in love with the romance of Redlands. It really is time for someone to take it on and bring it back to its former glory.
“It is now completely overgrown, with what was once a beech hedge now standing at well over 20 feet high, trees all through the inside of the property and brambles at head height.”
The idyllic property is accessed via a private bridge over a dyke, with the main access having been temporarily blocked.
Due to the fire, Redlands was removed from the rating list in 1996 and mains electricity, gas and water connections have been capped off.
The property comes with two acres of additional land adjacent to Redlands which are also being offered at the same auction with a pre-sale estimate of £50,000 – £60,000.
Ian Kitson, the director of Cheffins who is handling the sale, said: “This is an amazing opportunity for someone to either recreate the stunning property which once stood on the site or alternatively to create something new in a much sought-after location.
“Despite the site needing some significant clearing, Redlands is a magical property in a fairytale setting, and for the right buyer this will be a truly unique prospect.
“We are expecting significant interest from both developers and private buyers and are delighted to have the opportunity to offer this incredible property to the market.”
The home is completely private and invisible from the road. It’s located just outside of Longstanton, six miles northwest of Cambridge.
The village has a number of services including a supermarket, post office, a doctors and dentists surgeries, a recreation ground and a number of pubs.
The auction will take place on Wednesday 27th September, from 2pm, online at www.cheffins.co.uk.
For further information, contact Cheffins Property Auction team on 01223 213343 or firstname.lastname@example.org.