Buy a mansion

A 17th century house with 19 rooms is up for grabs, and could go for a knockdown price
Elmfield House
Elmfield House in Teddington could sell for £1 million to £1.25 million
Here is your chance to buy a 17th century mansion with 19 rooms for the price of a London Victorian terraced house. If heritage renovation is your desire, Richmond council is putting Elmfield House up for sale at auction on Tuesday.

Elmfield House, near Teddington station, was once the home of Alexander Herzen, founder of the Free Russian Press and the inspiration behind Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia trilogy. Herzen lived there from 1863-4. During this period he was visited by the Italian revolutionary and soldier, Garibaldi, who unified Italy.

Its most recent use was as council offices, so it needs love and attention, but with 19 rooms and assorted kitchens and toilets, there is bags of potential to create an elegant lifestyle.

Allsop auctioneer Gary Murphy told Homes & Property that the guide price was a mere £1 million to £1.25 million to reflect the building’s condition, uncertainty as to whether planning permission can be obtained to convert it back into a mansion, and the state of the market.

Richmond council says it could have sought planning permission for a residential conversion from its own planning department but chose not to. Deputy leader Stephen Knight said: “The building is surplus to our requirements and we need the revenue for other projects.

“If we had tried for a residential permission and failed, the building would have been worthless. We decided to offer it as it is, leaving the risk of getting planning permission to fall on the buyer.”

The sale will take place on Tuesday 11 December at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington.

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