The ultimate doer-upper? Abandoned Victorian mansion in Cambridgeshire is being sold at auction with a guide price of £100k

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  • Derelict red-brick village property is surrounded by an acre of overgrown land 
  • The house is being sold with a guide price of between £100,000 and £125,000 

An abandoned Cambridgeshire mansion that dates back to 1905 is up for grabs with a guide price of £100,000 to £125,000.

The Edwardian building, in the village of Longstanton, which is six miles north-west of Cambridge, is being sold at auction, where properties often sell for more than the initial guide price.

While it may seem like a bargain, the buyer will need incredibly deep pockets and potentially years of patience to transform the house into a comfortable family home.

The brick building sits in more than an acre of land, with several outbuildings, and is completely derelict.

This abandoned mansion is in the Cambridgeshire village of Longstanton and dates back to 1905

This abandoned mansion is in the Cambridgeshire village of Longstanton and dates back to 1905

The house was built for a seed merchant, who then sold it in 1910 to a stockbroker who went on to lose his fortune during the 1929 stockmarket crash.

It is known as Redlands and it originally had 16 rooms, with eight bedrooms and servants’ quarters.

The imposing entrance has stone steps, and leads to large reception spaces with elaborate mosaic flooring, massive fireplaces and an expansive cellar.

The property is being sold by Cheffins Auctioneers in Cambridge on Wednesday, September 27.

The property is being sold at auction later this month with a guide price of £100,000 to £125,000

The property is being sold at auction later this month with a guide price of £100,000 to £125,000

Only the walls of what was once one of the grandest properties in the area are still standing

Only the walls of what was once one of the grandest properties in the area are still standing

The property was last occupied in the 1950s and then used for agricultural storage before falling derelict following several fires.

Only the walls of what was once one of the grandest properties in the area are still standing.

The brick property stands in an overgrown garden that needs clearing completely.

The brick property has bay windows and is in an overgrown garden that needs clearing completely

The brick property has bay windows and is in an overgrown garden that needs clearing completely

The property was last occupied in the 1950s and then used for agricultural storage before falling derelict following several fires

The property was last occupied in the 1950s and then used for agricultural storage before falling derelict following several fires

Cheffins explained that in its heyday, the house had a balcony running the length of the first floor and a full-sized tennis lawn, as well as an orchard and extensive gardens.

Following the financial demise of its stockbroker owner, the property was sold on again to a Russian lecturer and then after the Second World War a banker bought the property.

In 1956, a major fire, thought to have been started by an electric heater, ravaged the inside of the house, ruining the interior and much of the roof.

The house is now in the ownership of Keith Tyler, who inherited it from his father, who bought it in 1959 for £900

The house is now in the ownership of Keith Tyler, who inherited it from his father, who bought it in 1959 for £900

It is now in the ownership of Keith Tyler, who inherited it from his father, who bought it in 1959 for £900.

Mr Tyler explained: ‘My father was a carpenter and joiner by trade with a sideline of rush cutting, and he bought Redlands originally to store boats and to have an area for drying the rushes.

‘His dream was to renovate the property and to this end he accumulated a huge amount of building materials, and being an inveterate collector throughout his life, also acquired everything including cars, boats and agricultural machinery, much of which remains at Redlands.

‘Unfortunately, age overtook his ability to complete a renovation of the property, and he died in 2007 aged 100, leaving his dream unfulfilled.

‘Throughout the years my family maintained the grounds and harvested the fruit from the orchard which was stored in the cellar. 

‘I have many fond memories of spending the weekends here as a child, playing in the gardens and throughout the enormous house.’

The house has been ravaged by numerous fires, and trees are growing inside some rooms

The house has been ravaged by numerous fires, and trees are growing inside some rooms

The house then suffered two more fires – the worst one in 1996 destroyed all the internal floors, most of the rooms, as well as what had remained of the original roof.

Mr Tyler added: ‘I really hope that someone falls in love with the romance of Redlands. It really is time for someone to take it on and bring it back to its former glory.

‘It is now completely overgrown, with what was once a beech hedge now standing at well over 20ft high, trees all through the inside of the property and brambles at head height.’

Redlands and is located just outside of Longstanton, six miles north-west of Cambridge

Redlands and is located just outside of Longstanton, six miles north-west of Cambridge

The property is accessed by a private bridge, which has been blocked.

Redlands was removed from the rating list in 1996 following extensive fire damage, and mains electricity, gas and water connections have been capped off.

There is an additional two acres of land, adjacent to Redlands, which will be offered at the same auction with a pre-sale estimate of £50,000 to £60,000.

Ian Kitson, of Cheffins, said: ‘This is an amazing opportunity for someone to either recreate the stunning property which once stood on the site, or alternatively to create something new in a much sought-after location.

‘Despite the site needing some significant clearing, Redlands is a magical property in a fairytale setting, and for the right buyer this will be a truly unique prospect.’

Longstanton has a number of services, including a supermarket, post office, doctor’s and dentist’s surgeries, a recreation ground and a number of pubs.

The auction will take place from 2pm on September 27 online at Cheffins.

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