Buildings at Risk for sale: November 2022

A number of interesting buildings on our Buildings at Risk Register are for currently sale from what has been described as "the last great country house in Wiltshire" to a tiny, once thatched cottage in Herefordshire that has been terribly neglected.

There are currently over 30 buildings on the register which are for sale and yet more which may be available for purchase if the potential buyer is willing to approach the owner and begin negotiations.  To search for buildings at risk which are for sale it is necessary to join as a Friend of SAVE.  To find out more about joining us and helping our work, click here.

Zeals House, Zeals, Wiltshire BA12

Zeals House is the last grand country house in Wiltshire, surveying a panorama of gloriously unspoilt Dorset country, just two hours journey from London. The ancient grade I listed manor house is a prize example of a house that has grown over the centuries, and for 500 years belonged to the same family.

The house is stone built with gables and tall chimneys enriching the silhouette and boasts a series of handsome bay windows with stone mullions.  

It was a centre of Royalist support in the civil war, and King Charles II was given refuge here on his escape to the coast.

Since 1968, the house has been sold four times, and is now standing empty and deteriorating rapidly. Several ancillary buildings in the grounds survive and are grade II listed, including two gate lodges, an orangery, dovecote, stables, granary and icehouse. It is in fact the granary and ancillary buildings which are on our Buildings at Risk Register but the house is also in need of some maintenance. To read the entry, click here.

It is for sale through Knight Frank for £4,000,000.  Click here for the particulars.

Blackborough House, Blackborough, Nr Cullompton, Devon EX15 2HJ

Blackborough House, on the edge of the Blackdown Hills in Devon, is a spectacular grade II listed country house. The house was built in 1838 by the fourth and last Earl of Egremont. It was intended to be a vast Italianate palace but grandiose plans were curtailed by financial difficulties. Eventually, a smaller house was completed, then split into matching halves. The Earl occupied one half, and the local rector, a cousin, occupied the other. The architecture has naval references - the Earl was a captain in the navy - and the small square windows on the upper floors are supposed to resemble gun ports on his ship, the Hawke.

The modern history of the house is one of gradual decline and when we added it to the Buildings at Risk Register in 2011, it was derelict and surrounded by scrap metal yards.  It sold to a developer in 2016 whose proposal for a hotel and spa with a huge amount of enabling development was rejected by the council in 2020.  Back on the market, it was purchased and the new owner obtained consent in 2021 to restore the two sides of the house to a private residence in one part and a set of apartments in the other.  Having made a good start on the work, including getting a roof on to one of the wings which had been in the worst condition, it is this owner who is now selling.  For more details, see the full entry on the register.

Blackborough House is for sale for £2,000,000 through Savills. Click here for the particulars.

Knoll Cottage, Bircher, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 0AT

In the heart of Herefordshire stands this diminutive 17th century cottage on the outskirts of Bircher, a picturesque village that is itself a conservation area. 

In 2018 and 2019, the Council carried out works pursuant to an Urgent Works Notice to stabilise the building, the remaining thatch which was in poor condition was removed and temporary covers were put on the roof. 

Standing on a plot that is a third of an acre does open up the possibility of applying for permission to build an additional building on the site to assist with funding the restoration of this lovely cottage.  The cottage is for sale for £399,000 through Jackson Property.  Click here for the sales particulars and click here to read the full entry.

Keelmen's Hospital, City Road, Newcastle, Tyne &Wear NE1 2JB

The Keelmen of Newcastle operated the flat bottomed boats, known as Keels, necessary to carry coals on the shallow rivers, Tyne and Wear. Originating in the 16th century, the Keelmen were a tight-knit community, working in physically demanding conditions and with unpredictable employment. At the end of the 17th century, the community raised the money (by a levy of a penny a tide) to build almshouses for the Keelmen and Keelmen’s widows in the Sandgate area.

The Hospital was built in 1701. This grade II* building has huge historic value and is only a few decades younger than other great philanthropic institutions such as Chelsea Royal Hospital. Keelmen's Hospital was not built with royal backing however and is a monument to an important part of the mercantile history of Newcastle.  To read the full entry on the register, click here

The hospital has most recently served as student accommodation but this use ceased and the building has stood empty for over 10 years in a gradually deteriorating state. In 2009 it was added to Historic England’s Heritage at Risk register, where it remains. 

Keelmen's Hospital is currently for sale with bids invited by the Council. A range of uses could be possible from residential to hotel conversion.  Interested purchasers should contact the Council in the first instance.

In addition to these buildings, we recently wrote about a number of buildings for sale in Wales.  Click here to read the article in our BaR news section.