Page last updated at 12:29 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 13:29 UK

Arson-hit Gothic hall on market

Hafodunos Hall
Hafodunos Hall was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 1860s

Offers are being invited from buyers with the "vision and the money" to develop a Grade 1-listed Gothic hall.

Hafodunos Hall, near Abergele, Conwy, which was described as one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture, was burned down by arsonists in 2004.

Halifax-based estate agent Walker Singleton is marketing the hall, which comes with 40 acres of ground.

The property has no price tag, because the company does not want to "eliminate interest from any interested parties".

Spokesman Howard Singleton added: "Whilst the main hall is in a derelict state it provides a unique opportunity to acquire a Victorian country house of such high stature, complete with its original grounds."

He said the grounds were "currently totally overgrown," but remained "almost unchanged since they were laid out over 150 years ago".

Hafodunos Hall
Whilst any purchaser would require incisive vision and substantial capital to carry through a restoration, a glimmer of the ultimate reward is clear to see from walking the estate today
Howard Singleton, of estate agent Walker Singleton
He added: "Whilst any purchaser would require incisive vision and substantial capital to carry through a restoration, a glimmer of the ultimate reward is clear to see from walking the estate today."

The hall was designed by architect Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 1860s, who was commissioned by the Sandbach family to build it on the site of a manor house which dated back to the reign of Charles I.

The architect's other works include London's St Pancras Hotel, and the Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens.

Hafodunos Hall stopped being a home in the 1930s and was later used as a boarding school and an accountancy college.

But it closed in 1993 and remained empty, falling into a state of disrepair.

Then, in 2004 two arsonists burned most of the hall down after starting a fire with petrol.

In 2005, one, then aged 22, was jailed for three years and the other, then 20, was sent to a young offenders institution. Both admitted arson.

Caernarfon Crown Court heard it was questionable whether the hall would ever be restored, with an estimate of 8m.

Developers had previously unveiled plans to turn the hall into a hotel with 70 holiday lodges.


SEE ALSO
Custody for Gothic hall arson
04 Feb 05 |  North West Wales
Two bailed over Gothic hall fire
26 Oct 04 |  North West Wales
Hotel vision for Gothic hall
21 Apr 04 |  North West Wales
'Invisible' work at historic castle
13 Jan 04 |  South East Wales
1m haunted house for sale
09 Sep 03 |  South East Wales

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