Falling Down Flass

Grade II* listed Cumbrian mansion built by opium dealer and once marketed for £1.5 million for sale for just £460,000; it was also the scene of the UK’s biggest ever cannabis raid in 2012


A 23,000 square foot, 52 room, mid-19th century Palladian mansion in the Westmorland Dales National Park is to be sold at auction – by order of the mortgagees not in possession – for £1 million less than it was marketed for in 2014. It is sadly now described as being in an utterly wrecked, vandalised condition.


The entrance elevation of the mansion then and now
The strikingly grand interiors of Flass (prior to visits from the ‘Urban Explorers’)
The completely trashed interiors of the mansion (after visits from the ‘Urban Explorers’)


Built in 1851 for wealthy merchant brothers and tea and opium magnets Lancelot and Wilkinson Dent, 8-bedroomed Flass at Maulds Meaburn, near Penrith in Cumbria was designed by architects Grey and Mair and includes furnishings by the renowned firm Gillows of Lancaster and London.


Opulent to its core and said to have featured marble fireplaces, ivory door handles and friezes with pearls, Flass remained in the Dent family until 1973. Just prior to being sold for £17,000 (the equivalent of £202,000 today) that year to a historian named Frank Walsh, the then owner Sir Robert Dent opened up an attic of the house and discovered items from the Mughal Empire that he then auctioned for the astounding sum of £220,000 (the equivalent of £2.6 million today).


Subsequently this vast stucco finished, limestone built house – complete with a Doric porte-cochère and a three-storey tower – became a care home and was then after sold in 2000 to a singer-songwriter best known for co-writing the creepy Christian crooner Sir Cliff Richard’s Devil Woman named Christine Holmes (also known as Kristine Sparkle) and her husband Paul Davies. The pair turned the property into a performing arts school.


After the couple divorced, Davies took control of the mansion but due to spiraling maintenance costs, he eventually got himself involved with a gang of drug dealers in 2011. Due to what rental agents at the time described as the house being “totally private and hidden away, with an unmatched seclusion and charm,” Davies and his five cohorts were able to grow cannabis with a street value of £5.26 million undetected until a neighbour became suspicious. He was jailed for his role in the crime for three years and eight months in September 2015.


Singer-songwriter Christine Holmes outside Flass in September 2017 (after visits from the ‘Urban Explorers’ and their having trashed her home)
Paul Davies turned Flass into Britain’s biggest cannabis farm (and got himself three years and eight months in jail for his efforts; on his conviction his representative said: “He blames nobody but himself for getting involved in this criminal business”)
The “massive scale” £5 million cannabis farm operated at Flass was described in court as “a professional setup” and having the “real hallmarks of organised crime”


Christine Holmes subsequently took back control of Flass and after trying and failing to sell the house for £1.5 million spent £200,000 on renovations to put right the damage done by the drug operation. Her bad luck, however, was not to end there. In September 2017, the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald reported that a gang of ‘Urban Explorers’ had raided the somewhat derelict building and filmed their exploits. In the weeks that followed, trespassers returned at least twelve further times and “ransacked and trashed” the once glorious residence. She told the paper:


“I was absolutely horrified when I saw [videos of the house] online. I couldn’t believe how anyone could come into my home and believe it was an abandoned building.”


“I think since then people have been staying in the building and have even been there hiding while I’ve been there. I’m petrified. These are evil people who are breaking into my home. I think it’s becoming a game to them. They are breaking in every day.”


Auctioneers Harman Healy will now offer Grade II* listed Flass along with 17.5 acres of overgrown grounds with a guide price of just £460,000+ on 30th January. Christine Holmes no doubt will be glad if she finally gets shot of what she likely ended up considering to be the worst kind of white elephant.


Flass – The Numbers


January 2019 – To be offered at auction with a guide price of just £460,000 ($596,000, €525,000 or درهم2.2 million).


July 2014 – Offered for sale for £1.5 million ($1.9 million, €1.7 million or درهم7.1 million).


2000 – Sold for £490,000 ($635,000, €559,000 or درهم2.3 million) to the currently jailed drug dealer Paul Davies and his then wife songwriter Christine Holmes.


1998 – Reduced to £650,000 ($842,000, €741,000 or درهم3.1 million).


1997 – For sale for £750,000 ($972,000, €855,000 or درهم3.6 million).


1982 – Sold for £115,000 ($149,000, €131,000 or درهم547,000) to a retired solicitor named Malcolm Whiteside. He turned Flass into a care home which he ran with his wife Mary.


1973 – Sold by Sir Robert Dent, a descendant of the family who built the house, for £17,000 ($22,000, €19,000 or درهم81,000) to a historian named Frank Welsh.


Facebook: @TheSteepleTimes

Instagram: @TheSteepleTimes

Twitter: @SteepleTimes


The garden elevation of the mansion then and now
The no doubt once glorious gardens of Flass have now gone to wrack and ruin
The entrance gates to the estate (in better days)
A plan of Flass and its surrounding land

The Steeple Times
We research and background check our articles. If you believe we have made and error in some detail please get in touch, we seek always to write the truth and stand against a press owned by a self selected few. Please help us, we will accept all your likes, subscriptions and anonymous suport. The Editor and his team at the Steeple Times.


  1. What a dump!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ugly beyond belief!!!!!!!!!!!!! Knock it down!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wrecking ball urgently required!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Looks like it’ll be full of used condoms and excrement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just demolish — pull it down and use the rubble to fill the local potholes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. This house has a troubled past. Beyond the drugs, etc it was for sale in the 1990s I recall for many, many years through Strutt & Parker because it is a) so isolated and b) so large. It doesn’t have a great deal of land so thus the appeal is very limited and making it into a hotel would be hard given the position and lack of need for any more such establishments in that vicinity. As a property professional, I would agree that the best use would be as a conversion to apartments.

    • Yolanda….why not just make an observation without tagging on the superfluous ‘property professional’.
      Flogging property is NOT a profession.
      Professions are the Church, Army, Law, Medicine and other select metier which I can’t recall

  3. Hmmm, could be self-funding if, say, one lifts the floorboards to find a hidden stash of cocaine and cannabis, maybe bundles of used £’s the police missed. Then, one could sell the ‘gear’ on eBay and, added to the bundles of used notes, will hopefully have enough pennies to restore this to its former glory. Seemples.

  4. I think Yolanda is correct about its only being good for flats. As a pal remarked, it’s in the a-end of nowhere with only sheep and wet rot for company. There’s the River Lyvennet which has salmon – perhaps a (ruddy big) hunting lodge? Does Peter De Savary read your blog, Matthew?

  5. Tragic to see Flass like this. My boyfriends family, the Welshes, owned it for many years, it was a beautiful home then filled with life: the haunted Chinese room, the attics, the swimming pool. I fell in love here. I hope someone with compassion and vision buys it and restores it. Urban explorers? What the heck are they?

  6. This house, has an extreem level of
    internal artistic quality about it, from
    the original marbel fire places, with
    ecceptional detail to the carved, and polished marble, did you know to produce
    one of these, it would take a professional
    stone mason, up to six years solid labour,
    to create, in all honisty i am shocked, no one has had them, (all that talk of demolishment) I might come save them,


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


£1 per week Supports The Steeple Times

Help journalism to remain honest & independent. You can make a difference to the world today.


Subscribe For DAILY NEWS

Please subscribe, like and share this unique site, it helps us tremendously. The Steeple Times in return will send you an email at noon each and everyday, that we sincerely hope you will enjoy & look forward to seeing in your inbox.


Recent and Popular

Ghislaine Maxwell – Follow The Missing Money

Prosecutors at the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell are right to follow the money; where did the £500 million her father plundered disappear to?

A Pair of Privileged Pillocks – Lord Rothermere and Lady Victoria...

As Lord Rothermere shows desperation in his bid to take the Daily Mail and General Trust private, he trips up by giving promotional pages to privileged pillocks like Lady Victoria Hervey.

Ghislaine Maxwell – Abuse Victim To Abuser?

Interview between Matthew Steeples and Shaun Attwood about Ghislaine Maxwell’s likely fate goes live just as John Sweeney and Kirby Sommers reference what she allegedly suffered as a child at the hands of her truly wicked father; did that turn her from abuse victim to abuser?

(Un)Signed Ghislaine

Crowdfunder for documentary supporting alleged mucky madam Ghislaine Maxwell fails to sign up a single supporter just as signs go up at her former home about filming and dog pee.

Bosie – Stop Clowning Around

Matthew Steeples suggests Boris Johnson needs to stop clowning around and tell the truth about his strategy to fight COVID-19 and Omicron this winter.

Ghislaine Maxwell – A Genuinely Poisonous Apple

References to Adam and Eve from Ghislaine Maxwell’s defence team ignore the fact she is a genuinely poisonous apple; references to Jeffrey Epstein being like James Bond are equally ludicrous suggests Matthew Steeples.

Lowbrow Lindsay Lohan Reaches A New Low

When you thought lowbrow loser Lindsay Lohan couldn’t go any lower, the ‘celebutard’ predictably delivers.

Ghislaine Maxwell’s Day Of Destiny

As Ghislaine Maxwell faces her day of destiny at the ‘trial of the century,’ her brother ridiculously claims their pension robbing father’s “reputation was trashed beyond belief” and announces of his sister: “This time, let’s bring this ship home.”

Over a Million Views

Who REALLY is Omid Scobie?

An examination of the true character traits of the Duchess of Sussex’s PR peddling biased ‘bestie’ Omid Scobie by Nikolay Kalinin.

Justice for James Scurlock

Power of social media proven after senseless killing of James Scurlock in Omaha, Nebraska allegedly by a controversial bar owner named Jake Gardner who has been photographed with Donald Trump.

Moron of the Moment – Prince Harry

With his marriage to the woman formerly known as Meghan Markle, Prince Harry has morphed into an utter bore   Prince Harry used to be a fun loving sort. He boozed, partied and enjoyed playing pranks. Now, having married ‘Murky Mucky Mendacious Meg,’ it seems those days are over.   Supposedly, according to...

Scobie Orf!

‘MeGain’s’ bestie Omid Scobie deservedly gets slammed by ‘Yankee Wally’ Sadie Quinlan for getting her shut down on Twitter; this childish chap should now just ‘belt up, wrap up and shut up.’

A Massive Media Maelstrom – McCann, Mandelson and Maxwell

Matthew Steeples highlights how the ‘Mandelson Media Method’ is very much in play in both the case of the Prince Andrew-Jeffrey Epstein connection and the renewed interest in the Madeleine McCann disappearance.

Moron of the Moment 2021 – Richard Madeley

As the new Diana, Princess of Wales statue is mocked as looking like him, ‘Dorian Gray of Daytime Telly’ Richard Madeley pathetically claims he got PTSD due to worrying about his son’s wedding.


overcast clouds
4.3 ° C
5.6 °
3.3 °
82 %
98 %
8 °
8 °
9 °
12 °
11 °
Exit mobile version