Most estate agents would describe this property as “full of potential,” but Savills has decided to tell it as it is.
The property firm says Belringham House in Headcorn Road, Sutton Valence, is “a former Grade II listed, detached house that has been burnt down and now comprises a rubble-strewn site.”
Even the outbuildings that are still standing are described as “dilapidated.”
Potential buyers are advised to wear a “high-viz jacket, work boots and hard hat” and are warned that the site “is considered dangerous.”
The once-splendid six-bedroom Georgian home burnt down in a huge fire in July 2021.
The one wall that was left standing after the blaze was demolished as firefighters feared the structure would topple onto the busy A274 which runs closely alongside the site.
All that is left of the house is – as Savills says – a pile of bricks.
The site is still considered to be Grade II listed and potential purchasers who might have ambitions to resurrect the house will have to take that into consideration.
The property is being sold in an online auction, details here, on November 21, with bidding starting at 9am. The guide price is a mere £50,000.
The house had been home to Sydney Arthur Prall, a retired schoolmaster from Wellingborough School in Northamptonshire, who was known as Mickey.
It had been his parents’ home and was where he grew up. He himself was educated at Cranbrook School.
Mr Prall died in suddenly on May 8, 2019, aged 77.
Having no close relatives, he left the building to the school where he had taught for 38 years.
But in the two years before the fire, the executors of his estate – the Lloyds Bank Estate Administration Service - had done nothing with it, blaming difficulties of access, and it still contained Mr Prall’s furniture, personal papers and possessions, including many ornaments and pieces of bric-a-brac that had belonged originally to his parents, dating from the first half of the last century.
Neil Lyon, the archivist at Wellingborough School, explained at the time: "There was no proper vehicular access to Belringham House.
“The gateway had an arch over it, just 9ft high, and it wasn't even possible to get a proper truck in to begin clearance of the property."
During those two years that it stood vacant, the house was repeatedly visited by vandals who spray-painted everywhere and stole or smashed vintage items.
Videos about the property were even posted online by “urban explorers.”
It is assumed the blaze was started by one such intruder, either accidentally or deliberately, although that has never been verified.