Derelict cottage near Watership Down sells for £760,000

Derelict cottage near Watership Down with its own rabbit-filled garden that could be worth £1.2m if restored to its former glory sells for £760,000

  • Stunning home with own garden full of rabbits sold at live auction by Auction House Sussex this afternoon
  • The 400-year-old house is ‘not for the faint-hearted’ and is too dangerous to enter because stairs may fall in
  • Elizabeth Cottage, at Crookham Common, near Newbury, Berkshire, has been uninhabited for over a decade  
  • A historic derelict country cottage overlooking Watership Down has sold for £760,000 at auction – despite fears the roof could cave in.

    The 400-year-old 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 – including replacing the stairs which could collapse at any moment.   

    Despite the big task, Elizabeth Cottage, at Crookham Common, near Newbury, Berkshire, was sold in a live stream auction by Brighton-based Auction House Sussex this afternoon – £140,000 above its starting price (£600,000).

    Prospective buyers were told the stunning home – a dream from for any fan of Richard Adams’ 1972 novel Watership Down – could be worth £1.2million once it received its much-needed upgrades. 

    The home had been empty for over a decade before it was sold on Tuesday, and is in such disrepair that it was deemed too unsafe to enter for an internal viewing. 

    As well as rabbits down the ‘jungle’ garden, there are also mice, rats, deer, badgers and foxes overlooking Watership Down, which can be seen around four miles away in neighbouring Hampshire.

    A derelict country cottage overlooking Watership Down has sold for £760,000 - despite fears the roof could cave in

    A derelict country cottage overlooking Watership Down has sold for £760,000 – despite fears the roof could cave in

    The 400-year-old retreat, which comes with its own garden full of rabbits, is 'not for the faint-hearted' and is too dangerous to enter because the stairs may collapse, prospective buyers were told

    The 400-year-old retreat, which comes with its own garden full of rabbits, is ‘not for the faint-hearted’ and is too dangerous to enter because the stairs may collapse, prospective buyers were told

    Elizabeth Cottage, at Crookham Common, near Newbury, Berkshire, had been uninhabited for more than a decade

    Elizabeth Cottage, at Crookham Common, near Newbury, Berkshire, had been uninhabited for more than a decade

    Adam Hinchliffe, from Brighton-based Auction House Sussex, said anyone brave enough to take on the cottage and restore it would end up with a dream home.

    The house has four bedrooms, its original 400-year-old timber beams as well as fireplaces and being set in stunning countryside. There is a one bedroom annex and 1.5 acres of land, much of which is overgrown.

    It is also still close to the M4 and main train line into Paddington station in London, meaning commuters should not be put off.

    Mr Hinchliffe said: ‘Properties like this rarely come on to the market. This is in an exquisite location backing on to Crookham Common.

    ‘There is a 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.’

    He added: ‘It’s one of the last chances before Christmas to buy a house in 2021. 

    ‘There has been plenty of interest in Elizabeth Cottage with potential buyers downloading legal packs from our website, so it’ll be interesting to see who is really up for such a wonderful project.’

    Auctioneer Adam Hinchliffe, from Brighton-based Auction House Sussex, said anyone brave enough to take on the cottage and restore it would end up with a dream home

    Auctioneer Adam Hinchliffe, from Brighton-based Auction House Sussex, said anyone brave enough to take on the cottage and restore it would end up with a dream home

    The home has four bedrooms, its original 400-year-old timber beams as well as fireplaces and being set in stunning countryside. There is a one bedroom annex and 1.5 acres of land, much of which is overgrown

    The home has four bedrooms, its original 400-year-old timber beams as well as fireplaces and being set in stunning countryside. There is a one bedroom annex and 1.5 acres of land, much of which is overgrown

    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.’

    It continues: ‘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.’  

    It is also still close to the M4 and main train line into Paddington station in London, meaning commuters should not be put off

    It is also still close to the M4 and main train line into Paddington station in London, meaning commuters should not be put off

    Watership Down was made famous by Adams’ novel about about a family of rabbits, which was turned into a hit Hollywood film. Pictured: The movie

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

    The cottage overlooks the country mansion of Phantom of the Opera composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber at Sydmonton, five miles from Crookham Common.

    It is also a mile away from Greenham Common, a disused wartime airfield which was the focus for the peace protest in the 1980s.

    Here hundreds of female anti-nuclear campaigners chained themselves to fences surrounding the base, including stretches of Crookham Common, and forced the US to withdraw cruise missiles from British soil. 

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