English estate in an uproar

Highclere Castle, Highclere, Hampshire

Highclere Castle, Highclere, Hampshire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Carnarvon estate is in an uproar.

Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber has his eye on Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England. He says he would love to buy it and house part of his extensive art collection there.

This isn’t good news for the castle’s owner, however. The estate has been the ancestral home of the Carnarvon clan for over 300 years, and the current Lord Carnarvon frowns upon selling it.

George Herbert, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon told the Daily Mail that the estate “It’s absolutely a treasured, long-term family estate and I have never discussed selling it to anyone. It is not for sale. [Lord Lloyd-Webber] has not approached me directly and the first I knew about him expressing his interest in this letter was just before a recent council meeting.”

Maintenance has been a struggle for Carnarvon, and the cost of repairing the 150-room stately home is estimated at £12 million. He plans to raise the funds by allowing 15 houses to be built within the 4,000 acre estate. The money from the sales – or rent, should he choose – would go to the repairs. Lloyd-Webber, on the other hand, says if he owned the property he could restore it to its former splendor without having to develop the land.

In his letter to Basingstoke Council, Lord Lloyd-Webber said that he would like to combine his Sydmonton estate and Highclere in order to house his art collection.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I think that perhaps the two men could reach a compromise: Lord Carnarvon could rent part of the estate to Lord Lloyd-Webber so that he may house part of his art collection. The rent money could then be put towards the maintenance of the estate. Carnarvon would still own the property, it would get restored, and Lloyd-Webber would have his space for his artwork.

Enhanced by Zemanta