A golf course and stately home owned by the former guitarist in heavy metal band Judas Priest has fallen into administration.

Astbury Hall, near Bridgnorth in south Shropshire, is owned by KK Downing who was one of the founding members of the famous Birmingham band.

The estate has an 18-hole, 71-par championship golf course, which has been ranked among the best in the UK, and a stately home used for charity and corporate events.

But difficult trading conditions and "unsustainable pressure" on capital saw it collapse into administration and placed under the control of financial services firm FRP Advisory.

The business is still trading and a £10 million price tag has now been placed on the 320-acre estate while its team of around 20 staff have all been retained.

Astbury Hall is a Georgian stately home built during the reign of Henry III in the 13th century but was destroyed by fire in 1889.

The present Astbury Hall was rebuilt in 1891 by the mayor of Bridgnorth Edmund Southwell.

KK Downing owns Astbury Hall which has suffered from 'unsustainable pressure' on its finances
KK Downing owns Astbury Hall which has suffered from 'unsustainable pressure' on its finances

Alastair Massey and Steve Stokes, partners at FRP Advisory, have been appointed joint administrators of Astbury Estates, Astbury Hall, Astbury Development Company and Ken Downing which jointly own and operate the hall, golf course and corporate hospitality business.

A statement from FRP Advisory said that, after years of successful management as a popular leisure pursuits business, recent tougher economic times in the corporate hospitality market had put unsustainable pressure on the estate's cash flow under its current financial structure.

It added that the appointment of administrators provided the cushion needed to allow the business to continue trading while a marketing process was commenced.

Mr Massey said: "Astbury Hall is a finely preserved, working English stately home steeped in history and the Astbury is a top notch, uniquely designed golf course, stretching across more than 300 acres of rolling Shropshire countryside.

"The administration process provides a cushion for the estate to run as normal while the business, including this historic house, the associated golf course and events business are all marketed for sale.

"The estate will continue to run as normal through the administration process and the number of bookings which the Astbury continues to make is a testament to the popularity of the hall, the golf course, its grounds and the catering on offer, all supported by its professional team of staff."