Page last updated at 14:20 GMT, Thursday, 18 September 2008 15:20 UK

Fred Dibnah's historic home sold

Fred Dibnah's house
Fred Dibnah bought the house more than 40 years ago

The home of the late Bolton steeplejack Fred Dibnah has finally been sold.

The three-bedroom property on Radcliffe Road in Bolton, which has a mine shaft and blue heritage plaque, had failed to sell at auction two weeks ago.

It had a guide price of 250,000 to 300,000 but the sale price to the new owner has not been disclosed and the buyer wants to remain anonymous.

The auctioneer who was in charge of the sale of the house, built in 1851, said it was totally "unique".

Mr Dibnah, who became a TV personality, died from cancer in 2004, aged 66.

His house featured in numerous documentaries about him.

Its gardens include his engine shed, workshops and a recently-developed mine shaft - complete with winding gear - which was only given planning permission after his death.

The house failed to sell at auction on 4 September.

Fred Dibnah
Fred Dibnah died in 2004

But auctioneer Alan McNaughton, of Bolton-based estate agents Miller Metcalfe, said a deal has now been reached.

He said: "A week of negotiations ended with offers by sealed envelope and I am very pleased to advise that we have now exchanged contracts.

"The contract contains a confidentiality clause regarding non-disclosure of the purchase price and the buyer has also expressed a desire to remain unnamed.

"I can reveal, however, that the buyer has expressed a desire to retain many of the features of the home and yard - although it is not expected these would be available for public viewing in the future."

Media coverage

Mr McNaughton described the house - a shrine to Fred's love of the golden age of steam - as "unique and the most well-known home in Bolton".

He added: "In my 25-year career as a chartered surveyor and auctioneer in Bolton, I cannot remember a property attracting so much attention and media coverage.

"This, in turn, was reflected in the vast number of people who visited the property, those interested in his home and life and those with a determination to preserve it as a heritage venue."

Mr Dibnah started work as a joiner but, after completing his National Service, fulfilled his dream to be a steeplejack to service the hundreds of chimneys that once crowded the skies of Bolton.

He shot to fame after being profiled on a local news programme in the North West of England in 1979 where he was filmed hanging 240ft (73m) off the ground while repairing Bolton's town hall clock.

The father-of-six was a great admirer of the Industrial Revolution and the Victorians - steam engines were his greatest passion - and he appeared on numerous television programmes on these subjects over the years .

He was made an MBE in 2003, a year after he demolished his last chimney stack.

No auction bids for Dibnah house
04 Sep 08 |  Manchester
Dibnah's house to go under hammer
03 Sep 08 |  Manchester
Dibnah widow's anger at vandals
28 May 08 |  Manchester
Steeplejack Dibnah laid to rest
16 Nov 04 |  Manchester
TV's Dibnah loses cancer battle
06 Nov 04 |  Manchester
Obituary: Fred Dibnah
06 Nov 04 |  TV and Radio
In pictures: Fred Dibnah
06 Nov 04 |  Photo Gallery

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