The UK’s most expensive ever country house is now under threat of receivers taking control of the property.
After buying the estate for Â£20 million and completely refurbishing it, the property’s developer, Leslie Allen-Vercoe of Rhymer Investments, put it on the market in 2005 for Â£75 million and hoped it would shift within six months.
And what a place! Fit for any minted royal or business person to house their family and entertain friends and colleagues.
The house in Windlesham, Surrey is surrounded by 11 acres of gardens and a whopping 46 acres of woodland. It has 103 rooms with 24 en-suite bedrooms. Most people dream of having a swimming pool, this house has five. It also boasts a two lane bowling alley, a 50 seat cinema, an indoor squash court, a gymnasium, flood-lit tennis court, a 3,000 bottle capacity wine cellar as well as a heated marble driveway. It even has its own ‘panic room’ bolt hole.
And if you want other entertainment Sir Elton John and Brian May don’t live that far away.
The whole lot has been estimated as costing Â£1.5 million a year to run.
Rhymer Investments bought Updown out of receivership in 2002 and set about renovating it using rare materials like Italian marble.
The money to fund this came from an Irish Nationwide joint venture. But the lender collapsed during the credit crunch and many of its loans were taken over by the Irish government. Now the Â£50 million mortgage has reportedly been defaulted on and it looks like Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency may be stepping in to seize control of the house for the benefit of the Irish tax-payer.
Mr Allen-Vercoe denies knowledge of any action by receivers and says he is talking to three very potential buyers.