Abandoned 400-year-old cottage too dangerous to step inside sells for £760,000

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A deathtrap country cottage overlooking Watership Down that was deemed too dangerous to even look around has been sold for a whopping £760,000 at auction despite fears the roof could cave in.

The 400-year-old derelict Elizabeth Cottage at Crookham Common, near Newbury, Berks, was bought for the staggering price despite would-be buyers being warned the roof might fall in or the stairs collapse.

The retreat, which comes with its own garden full of rabbits, was described as being 'not for the faint-hearted' due to the work required on the property which including replacing the stairs which could collapse at any moment.

But prospective buyers were told the stunning home – which still holds the original 400-year-old timber beams and fireplaces – could be worth £1.2million once it received its much-needed upgrades.

And despite it being uninhabited for more than a decade, the property was sold for £140,000 above its starting price by Brighton-based Auction House Sussex.

The cottage is located just four miles from Watership Down, the hometown of author Richard Adams, who wrote the novel of the same name about a family of rabbits.

Auctioneer Adam Hinchliffe had warned before the sale anyone brave enough to purchase the property and renovate would be left with a dream home.

He said: "There is certain magic attached to the idea about doing up a wreck like this, but it’s not for the faint-hearted.

"This property needs total renovation and will be a stunning property when it’s been completed.

"It’s one of the last chances before Christmas to buy a house in 2021".

The auction pack stated the four-bedroom property would require major refurbishment having been derelict for many years.

A description of the house online reads: "An unusual opportunity to acquire a detached four bedroom property on good size plot in a rural setting, requiring complete refurbishment.

"The property is in poor repair and looks to have been derelict for many years. Elizabeth Cottage and land sits on a plot approximately 1.5 acres, with access to Crookham Common to the rear.

"The main house comprises three reception rooms, kitchen/breakfast room and utility room on the ground floor.

"First Floor there are three bedrooms and two bathrooms. To the rear of the property there is a one bedroom annexe and outbuildings.

"The property has development potential, the adjacent plot Elizabeth Farm obtained planning permission for three detached houses in 2012.'

It adds: "There will be no internal viewings possible to the buildings due to its poor condition.

"Interested parties are warned not to enter."

Nearby Watership Down was made famous by Adams' novel about about a family of rabbits, which was turned into a hit Hollywood film.

The cottage also overlooks the country mansion of Phantom of the Opera composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber at Sydmonton.

It is also a mile away from Greenham Common, a wartime airfield where hundreds of female campaigners chained themselves to fences surrounding the base and forced the US to withdraw cruise missiles from British soil.

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