Abandoned 400-year-old cottage too dangerous to step inside sells for £760,000


The derelict Elizabeth Cottage was deemed so unsafe, internal viewings were forbidden over fears the property may collapse due to the years of being left abandoned

The Elizabeth Cottage at Crookham Common which was deemed too safe to enter sales for 760,000
The Elizabeth Cottage at Crookham Common which was deemed too safe to enter sales for 760,000

A worn-down country cottage deemed too dangerous to even look around sells for big bucks at an online auction.

The 400-year-old derelict Elizabeth Cottage at Crookham Common, near Newbury, Berks, was bought by a buyer who had not stepped foot in the property after would-be buyers were warned the roof might fall in or the stairs collapse.

The derelict cottage was up for grabs with a guide price of £600,000. , despite its condition with ivy, creepers, and other undergrowth climbing over the roof.

As well as being overrun with mice, rats, deer, badgers and foxes and rabbits within its garden due to the the views of Watership Down, only four miles away.

But despite it being uninhabited for more than a decade, the property was sold for £760,000 by Brighton-based Auction House Sussex.



Mice, rats, deer, badgers and foxes share the ‘jungle’ garden with rabbits
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Image:

Auction House Sussex)




The high selling price may be due to the rich history the property holds after the Watership Down was made famous in Richard Adams’ novel about a family of rabbits.

The novel, which turned into a hit Hollywood film, spoke of the Down which overlooked the country mansion of Phantom of the Opera composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber at Sydmonton, five miles from Crookham Common.

Crookham Common is also just a mile away from Greenham Common – anter famous paced which was the disused wartime airfield – the focus for the ‘Greenham wimmin’ peace protest in the 1980s.

Whilst defying armed guards, many women who were anti-nuclear campaigners strapped themselves to fences surrounding the base, including stretches of Crookham Common, eventually achieving victory and forcing the Americans to withdraw cruise missiles from British soil.



The property is marked on the map
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Image:

Auction House Sussex)




Auctioneer Adam Hinchliffe ha warned before the sale anyone brave enough to purchase the property and renovate would be left with a dream home.

Amazingly the property still holds the original 400-year-old timber beams and fireplaces.

Though being positioned in the countryside, it is still quite close to the M4 motorway and train lines into Paddington, London.

Mr Hinchliffe called the property a rarity, as properties like this don’t usually come on the market.

He said: “There is certain magic attached to the idea about doing up a wreck like this, but it’s not for the faint-hearted.

“This property needs total renovation and will be a stunning property when it’s been completed.

“It’s one of the last chances before Christmas to buy a house in 2021”.



Auctioneer Adam Hinchliffe said before the sale that anyone brave enough to take it on and restore the cottage would end up with a dream home.
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Image:

Auction House Sussex)




The auction house anticipated a lot of interest from buyers as many went to download the legal packs from their website.

The pack stated the four-bedroom property – though a good size on a rural setting – would require major refurbishment having been derelict for many years.

It sits on a plot of approximately 1.5 acres, with access to Crookham Common to the rear.



The property sits on a plot of approximately 1.5 acres, with access to Crookham Common to the rear.
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Image:

Auction House Sussex)




It continued: “The main house comprises three reception rooms, kitchen/breakfast room and utility room on the ground floor.

“First Floor there are three bedrooms and two bathrooms. To the rear of the property, there is a one-bedroom annexe and outbuildings.

“THERE WILL BE NO INTERNAL VIEWINGS POSSIBLE TO THE BUILDINGS DUE TO ITS POOR CONDITION. INTERESTED PARTIES ARE WARNED NOT TO ENTER.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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