For Sale: Blencathra

Anyone with a spare £1.75million (plus VAT) could own one of England's finest mountains, after it was announced that Blencathra has gone on the market. However they'd probably struggle to make any money from it.

Solitude on Sharp Edge, 193 kb
Solitude on Sharp Edge
© Nicholas Livesey, Mar 2011

It's been 400 years in the same family. But now Blencathra is being offered for sale by its current owner Lord Lonsdale, who, according to the Daily Telegraph, needs to scrape some cash together to meet a £9million inheritance tax bill.

The 2677 acre property will be flogged by sealed bids, no later than July. 

This is a 'once in a lifetime opportunity to buy a piece of the Lake District heritage' say the selling agents.

But Lord Lonsdale seems a little off-message, telling the Telegraph:

'I can think of better things to spend my money on.'

He's hoping the National Trust might stump up, or failing that perhaps an oligarch in search of an economically useless status symbol. After all, the mountain is common land for grazing and the only income it brings in is an annual £1000 rent from a small hydro scheme at its foot.

'Who’s got the money?' he asks in the newspaper. 'We’re hoping there will be some daft Russian [who wants it] to show off.'

To sweeten the deal for that sort of buyer the mountain is being sold complete with the empty title 'Lord of the Manor of Threlkeld' named after the village at the southern foot of the mountain.

As Blencathra is protected within the National Park, and access rights are guaranteed, it probably won't matter to the walking public who ends up buying it.


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