The former estate of flamboyant publisher Felix Dennis at Dorsington, Warwickshire , has so far fetched £7,260,000, with two lots still left to sell.
The biggest buy was Highfield, a spectacular leisure complex with planning consent for change into a home.
The pirate-themed pleasure palace, with aquarium, pool, banqueting hall, bedroom suite, study, library, cinema, bar/entertainment area and garaging, had a guide price of £2,450,000.
Knight Frank, who were joint agents with Smiths Gore, revealed it eventually went for a sum in excess of that.
Felix Dennis died in 2014 at the age of 67 , after suffering from throat cancer.
A successful publisher, prodigious poet, ex-con (he was briefly jailed in the 1970s after being charged with conspiring to corrupt the morals of the young when an explicit parody of a Rupert Bear cartoon strip appeared in Oz magazine), reformed drug taker and voracious tree planter who established his own Heart of England forest, he once described himself as “an amoral sod”.
His playful personality could be found throughout the estate, which boasted picture-perfect thatched cottages and that party barn which was designed to delight children of all ages. His portfolio of properties was mainly to be found in Dorsington in Warwickshire, with a development site at Pebworth in Worcestershire. Initially the buildings and land could be purchased as a whole for a total of £9,470,000. But it was also available to buy split up into individual lots, with prices originally ranging from £300,000 to £2,450,000, and that is the way it sold.
Contracts have already been exchanged on:
* The Old Manor, an Elizabethan country house with nine acres, which was priced at £1,750,000
* Highfield, the spectacular leisure complex which had the option to be converted to residential use. This had a guide of £2,450,000
* Nos 1 and 2 Old Manor Lodge Cottage, two semi-detached estate cottages that were being sold for £300,000 each
* Nos 1 and 2 Old School House, a pair of semi-detached village houses priced at £400,000 and £350,000 respectively.
* Manor Farm House, a handsome 18th century former farmhouse which had a guide of £875,000
* Manor Farm Barns & Harvest Cottage, a range of period farm buildings (which could be converted to one dwelling) and a recently built cottage. The asking price there was £795,000.
* Crooked Barn Cottage, which was a development site for a country house, and was being sold for £775,000.
* And Crabtree Barns, another development site, this one for three new dwellings. This had a guide price of £750,000. Some of Crabtree’s buildings have been divided up with the last of the barns currently under offer for £180,000.
There is still one final chance to get a piece of Dorsington. Sapphire House, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom red brick village house set within partly walled gardens and grounds, is still for sale. It can be purchased for £595,000 with half-an-acre of gardens or £850,000 together with 1.3 acres of land and an adjoining barn.
James Way, partner in charge and head of the Stratford office of Knight Frank, said the sale had been “A fascinating exercise’’.
“It had some unusual properties, most particularly Highfield. It is a fantasy property but it has been beautifully done. It had permission for residential use but I don’t think there is any danger of it being turned into something too mundane.”
He likened it to the disposal of the great estates of old when entire villages could be sold off. “Felix was a larger than life character, with his love for poetry, his publishing and his passion for trees. It is very satisfying that the funds raised will go to the Felix Dennis Trust for the Heart of England Forest that is an ongoing project. It is the end of an era but his legacy will go on for a thousand years.”
* For details on Sapphire House, contact Knight Frank on 01789 297735.
AGENT: Knight Frank
TEL: 01789 297735
GUIDE PRICE: £595k-£850k