‘Baroness Thrifty’ puts her Sir John Soane designed Norfolk mansion up for sale for 46% less than she tried to get for it in 2011 (when Johnny Depp allegedly failed to purchase it)
Grade II* listed Burnham Westgate Hall at Burnham Market in Norfolk – a village acclaimed for its pub, The Hoste (a favourite of Stephen Fry, Amanda Holden and Prince William amongst others and itself sold for £8.65 million earlier this year) – was put up for sale in 2011 for £7 million, but failed to sell.
Now, its owner, after a dispute with her former partner and a sale of its contents in September by auctioneers Sworders, Conservative Party politician Baroness Rawlings – a woman best known as ‘Baroness Thrifty’ due to her frequently offering advice on “how to live on a budget in a stately home” – has cleared it out and is again looking to offload it.
Described now as a 15 bedroom house with 12 bathrooms in “parkland of over 30 acres,” Burnham Westgate Hall was built in the 1720s and remodeled in 1780 by Sir John Soane for Thomas Pitt, 1st Lord Camelford. Its most impressive feature, Penny Churchill of Country Life noted in 2011, is “a split, cantilevered staircase and a first-floor piano nobile” and of purchasing the 15,870 square foot building in 1991, in 2013, Lady Rawlings told The New York Times:
“We were living in nearby Brancaster at the time and had been passing by for years and years, thinking how lovely it was and how wonderful it would be to live there. It was a beautiful house and in such a peaceful location. We were living in nearby Brancaster at the time and had been passing by for years and years, thinking how lovely it was and how wonderful it would be to live there. It was a beautiful house and in such a peaceful location.”
“Structurally, the house was in very good condition when we bought it; it had been well maintained,” she said. “We opened up fireplaces and stripped floors. We also added bathrooms, putting them into bedrooms at the back of the house, to ensure the facade of the house was not spoiled by pipe work. But it is impossible to put a figure on what we have spent over the years.”
Agents Sowerbys describe the house as “important architecturally” and add that “contrary to popular belief, Norfolk is not flat, as suggested by Noël Coward.”
The Numbers – Burnham Westgate Hall, Burnham Market, Burnham Market, King’s Lynn, North Norfolk, PE31 8HE, United Kingdom
October 2019 – For sale for a much reduced price of £3.8 million ($4.9 million, €4.4 million or درهم17.9 million) minus some land, its coach house and the gate lodge.
2011 – For sale for £7 million ($9 million, €8.1 million or درهم33 million).
1991 – Purchased for “less than £1 million” ($1.3 million, €1.2 million or درهم4.7 million) by The Right Honourable The Baroness Rawlings and The Hon. Dr. Paul Zuckerman.