Near derelict stately home goes under hammer for record £1,356,000

29th May 2020

Yesterday a once magnificent late 17th century house built by one of Britain’s greatest dukes was sold after a long silent auction which saw bids increasing by £1,000 a minute by the end. 

News of the auction a week before had sparked huge interest because of the bargain guide price of £200,000, and over the bank holiday SAVE Britain’s Heritage received numerous calls from country house enthusiasts desperate to keep the house from falling into the hands of speculators who might let the house decay still further while they sought lucrative planning permissions to build in the grounds.

The auction had been prompted by a Ministerial refusal of an enabling permission in July 2019 for 19 apartments within the grade II* listed mansion and a further 31 on the surrounding flood plain.

Marcus Binney, executive president of SAVE Britain’s Heritage says: "We received urgent offers of help for a restoration trust to buy the house for up to £300,000. These came from Wales and Scotland and also from The South Wales Building Preservation Trust.

"It emerged there were at least two serious buyers who wanted to restore the former stately home as a family house and a place to work from home. Hopefully this would avoid the need for enabling development which could damage the character of this fascinating estate. 

"This is welcome news of the perennial romantic appeal of Britain's once vanishing country mansions. There is no way it can be an economic proposition with a land cost at auction of £1,356,000, so we hope the new owners are intent on carrying out an exemplary repair as their own home. It will be a challenging task but worthwhile". 

Listed grade II* in 1952, Troy House stands in just six acres of land near the delightful Welsh town of Monmouth, which gave its name to the Dukes who owned Troy. 

In recent years ceilings have collapsed and the whole of the upper floor has become a home to a large colony of protected bats.

The final bidding battle was played out by two determined buyers, out of a total of 23 bidders. The successful bidder, no.23, came in at just under £900,000. Bidder no.10, the other main contender had made an early bid of just £358,000, but soon came back at £1,075,000 and then finally at £1,225,000. When it became a battle between these final two bidders, bids were rising by £1000 a minute, till bidder no.23 finally secured the property at £1,356,000.

SAVE first illustrated Troy House in 1978 in our publication Tomorrow's Ruins by Sophie Andreae and Marcus Binney where it was described as an "impressive mansion built 1675-1700 by the Dukes of Beaufort. There has been a house on the site since Tudor times. In 1900 most of the panelling was removed and the house was sold to nuns who ran it as a girls' school".  It has now lain empty for nearly 40 years. 

The auctioneers Allsops state the house is presented in a poor state of repair and requires extensive works of modernisation and refurbishment.