ASHBOURNEʼS historic mansion house has been snapped up by a stately home owner, who has promised to renovate it and then hold public open days — the News Telegraph can exclusively reveal.
The Church Street property has been bought by James Cartland, a relative of Dame Barbara Cartland and distant relative of Princess Diana, who has restored Carnfield Hall in Alfreton over the last 22 years.
Mr Cartland, who recently appeared on Channel 4 programme Country House Rescue, leapt on the mansion within two weeks of the public auction date and secured the home — which was due to go under the hammer on July 8.
The antiques collector, who has connections in Ashbourne, plans to sell his beloved 90-acre Carnfield Hall in August and down-size to the mansion — ready to begin an ambitious programme of restoration.
He said: “I already knew about the mansion and I was thrilled when I heard it had come up for sale. It’s perfect for me and I’m looking forward to getting my paintbrush out.
“Carnfield Hall has been my life for 22 years and it’s going to be a terrible wrench to sell it but I’m now in my 60s and, although there’s a lot of work to do to the mansion, it’s not quite as awful and I’m really looking forward to getting on with it.
Mr Cartland says he hopes to be able to hold public open days occasionally, and invite people to see the garden, which has been immaculately kept over the years.
Knight Frank, the estate agent tasked with selling the Mansion, reported a “tremendous” amount of interest in the house, with more than 70 people going out to view the property since the sale was announced.
Its current owner, London-based Paul Mannouso, who has been forced to sell the house due to ill health, decided to sell early to Mr Cartland after the right offer was made.
Mr Cartland said he would “rather not say” how much he paid for the mansion — but hinted a figure was agreed that was “a lot higher” than the guide price of £550,000.
● Mr Cartland wants to hear from anyone who can tell him more about the history of the mansion. Have you been involved in its past? Do you know someone who has? Call us on 01335 342847 and we will put you in touch with the new owner — who hopes to write a guide book once he has settled in.