Former home of William Wordsworth in Somerset sold to Buddhist charity
Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, is delighted to announce the sale of the Alfoxton Park Hotel estate near Bridgwater in Somerset to Buddhist charity, the Alfoxton Park Trust.
This stunning, Grade II listed former country house hotel was built in the 18th Century out of rendered rubble stone, the main block being on a double-pile plan. It is set in circa 51 acres of gardens and deer park, with 13,500 square foot of interior space spread out over four floors, 17 bedrooms, and is complete with outbuildings, courtyard, and a walled garden.
The estate holds a fascinating history as it housed American troops during World War II, and Wellington House School in Kent relocated to the main house during the conflict. The original house, The Manor of Alfoxton, mentioned in the Domesday book, was unfortunately destroyed in a fire but was rebuilt on the same site in 1710. It was also once the home of romantic English poet William Wordsworth, and the location of the first reading by Samuel Taylor Coleridge of the ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’. The house was most recently used as a country hotel, however planning permission was granted for conversion to a grand stately home, though this has now lapsed.
The site is located in Holford, a quintessential English hamlet nestled within the Quantock Hills, which was the first area in England to be declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is conveniently just 11 miles from the M5 at Junction 23 providing routes north to Bristol (34 miles) and south to Taunton (11 miles) and onto Exeter, Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall. It is just two miles from the coast, and this provides excellent views and a perfect backdrop to the Estate.
The Alfoxton Park Hotel has been purchased by Buddhist charity, the Alfoxton Park Trust, who intend to sympathetically renovate the buildings and use them as a Buddhist retreat centre, focusing especially on a mixture of longer meditation retreats, arts/creativity events and land-based working retreats. Trustee Lokabandhu comments, “We are delighted to have been entrusted with the guardianship of this beautiful and historic building. We are very aware of its importance and place in Britain’s literary heritage and fully intend to honour that going forwards. Once the building has been restored to at least something of its former glory, we’d love to welcome poets, pilgrims and lovers of nature – many of whom already pass by as they walk the Coleridge Way, which runs right past our back door.”
Stephen Champion, director at Christie & Co, comments, “Alfoxton stood empty for a number of years and unfortunately suffered as a result. We are delighted to see the building saved by its new owners, the Alfoxton Park Trust, who plan to restore the property and run it as a Buddhist retreat centre. It is reassuring to see continued confidence in south west tourism businesses, despite the economic impact of Covid-19 on the sector.”
The Alfoxton Park Hotel was sold off an asking price of £2,000,000.