Apethorpe Hall is a mélange of medieval, Tudor and Jacobean architecture constructed of beautiful golden-coloured limestone. The former house, resembling more of a palace and with over 200 rooms, is constructed around two courtyards. The building entertained such monarchs as Queen Elizabeth I, King James I and King Charles I on many occasions and the imposing and ornate fireplace can still be found beautifully conserved in the King’s Chamber. During the restoration work a secret passage was discovered which led from King James’ chamber to the Duke of Buckingham’s bed chamber.
Apethorpe Hall is Grade I listed and was a young offenders rehabilitation centre which was leased to the Roman Catholic diocese of Northampton from the mid-1940s until 1982 when it was closed down. It was then purchased privately for £750, 000 by a Libyan businessman, Mr Burweila. Since then an estimated 10 million pounds worth of damage has spread all over the building due to the owner’s neglect and failure to take any action despite repeated urgent repair notices sent out to him by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport; woodworm and dry rot have both contributed to the Hall’s state of near obsoletion.
A compulsory purchase order was finally sent out to Mr Burweila by the Government on behalf on English Heritage on 22nd June but it was then discovered that the former owner had covertly sold the property on 19th June to avoid being involved in any repair costs. Part of the site is being carefully restored by skilled stonemasons and carpenters but a further 4 million will be needed to complete the salvage.
Apethorpe Hall is currently on the market for £2.9 million, however if a single buyer cannot be found the developers will gain the right to divide the site up into separate housing quarters and build new living accommodation in the grounds.
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