A ‘time capsule’ country house left untouched for decades has gone on the market for £1.65m with 25 acres of overgrown grounds included.
Burnells Estate on Exmoor National Park is nearly a century old but has not been lived in for at least 20 years as the current owner, who lives abroad, bought it to use as a retirement home and never got round to it.
Estate agents Webbers have cleared the terrace around the outdoor swimming pool to show buyers the potential it has.
The house also has hunting rights over a neighbouring 81 acres of woodland and stunning countryside views of surrounding Exmoor.
Burnells estate was first built in 1927 for Lord Christopher Thomson, a British Army officer and later Labour minister and peer.
The overgrown Burnells Estate on Exmoor National Park is on sale for a cool £1.65m
The house was first built in the 1927s for Lord Christopher Thomson, a British Army officer and later Labour minister and peer
The house has been left to decay for 20 years and is now overgrown and in need of renovation
He served in the Second Boer War and the First World War before going into politics.
Thomson was Secretary of State for Air under Ramsey MacDonald, who made him Baron Thomson in 1924.
He died in the R101 airship crash on its maiden flight from Britain to France in 1930.
The accident was partly down to Lord Thomson putting pressure on to make the maiden flight before safety checks were complete and adequate flight testing had been done.
It led to the deaths of 48 people and the cancellation of the British airship programme by Thomson’s successor.
The house has an incredible private setting in the countryside, down a country lane between the villages of Dunster and Wootton Courtenay in Somerset.
The house has over 4,000 sq ft of living space with a large entrance hall, kitchen, breakfast room, dining room and a large L-shaped sitting room on the ground floor and eight bedrooms and three bathrooms on the first floor.
It has plenty of original features including exposed ceiling beams, ornate plasterwork and original fireplaces.
The kitchen has an oil-fired Aga and adjoining butler’s pantry with original full-height crockery and storage cupboards.
There is also a large garage with a studio above.
The kitchen is spacious, airy and comes equipped with an AGA for clean country living
The inside of the house could use some work but has enough period features to fall in love with
The entertainment room has a large authentic log fire – perfect for winter nights
Outside the property has a number of slate terraces that would have originally made up the formal gardens and there is a sunken swimming pool from the house’s heyday.
The grounds include mixed woodland, heathland and paddocks.
Mark Curran, from Webbers, said: ‘The house has not been occupied for at least 20 years and is a time capsule from the era of art deco.
‘The woodland and foliage has grown up around the property and offers people the possibility of a virtual blank canvas for their own preference and ideas.
‘The interior of the house could be remodelled to suit more modern tastes or enlarged.’
The property, which is in a national park, has nearly 25 acres of grounds
The house has hunting rights over a neighbouring 81 acres of woodland and stunning countryside views of Exmoor National Park
The owner Robert Berg said: ‘I was over in the UK for business and staying in a hotel that I really disliked, so I asked my accountant to help me find a home for when I was here.
‘I purchased the property back in 1979 and lived there permanently until 1983. I’ve used it as my holiday home ever since, until personal circumstances changed for me in recent years.
‘Unfortunately, I have not been back as often as I would have liked, so I think the time is right for me to move on and let new owners breathe life back into it. It is in need of renovation but I know it will make a truly unique home.
‘This is not a normal house; it must have been a very expensive project when it was built and it was constructed in the most perfect manner set over five slate terraces.
‘There is a swimming pool on the second terrace that is a wonderful luxury. Surrounded by woodland and beautiful trees, it offers a most welcome escape from the stresses of day-to-day life.
‘Views from the house are far reaching over scenic countryside that changes with the passing seasons.
‘Access to the property is via a private road which is about 500m long and not many people know that it’s here unless they are coming to visit.
‘I have loved my time living here, it’s been a really wonderful house, and I wish the new owners all the very best.’