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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 January 2006, 11:09 GMT
Former PM's home 'could be sold'
Bell Tower at Windlestone Hall
Grade II listed Windlestone Hall includes a bell tower
The one-time family home of a former Tory Prime Minister could soon be up for sale in County Durham.

Grade II listed Windlestone Hall, near Rushyford, was built in 1835 for the family of 1950's Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden, who was born there.

For the past 50 years it has been used as a school, but a replacement building is due to be completed later this year.

Durham County Council is considering putting the historic country house on the market before the school relocates.

Council leader Ken Manton said: "As its Listed status suggests, Windlestone Hall is a very important part of County Durham's built environment, and it is not a building we would want to lie empty for any length of time.

"It is essential that the sale is well advanced, if not complete, when the school relocates to minimise the risk to it and of course, minimise the costs involved in keeping an empty building secure and weatherproof.

"We anticipate a lot of interest in the sale."

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