The 15-bedroom home of a Baroness goes up for sale for £3.8m
PUBLISHED: 16:48 21 September 2019 | UPDATED: 08:54 22 September 2019
A manor house in one of Norfolk's most expensive locations and recently lived in by Baroness 'Thrift' has gone on the market.
Burnham Westgate Hall, a magnificent Georgian country house, set in 30 acres of parkland and recently lived in by Baroness Patricia Rawlings, is on the market again. It will be the third time in a decade that the stunning Grade II-star listed home, designed partly by famous architect Sir John Soane, has been for sale. It has been the home of Baroness Rawlings, 80, for 30 years.
However, the Conservative politician who has just embarked on a new role on the international relations select committee in the House of Lords, recently downsized to a residence nearby, selling many of the items in the hall at auction.
Baroness Rawlings garnered the nickname 'Baroness Thrift' after famously giving some advice on saving money including turning the discarded crusts from Melba toast and using them for the next day's boiled egg.
Baroness Rawlings told this newspaper: "I sold a few things and the rest I gave to the Salvation Army. One has to be positive and I am striving on. My new house doesn't have as beautiful views as Burnham Westgate but one book closes and another chapter opens."
The house, which made national headlines a few years ago when it was believed to have been bought by movie star Johnny Depp, which Baroness Rawlings refuted, occupies a remarkable setting. It backs onto the green in Burnham Market and the Hoste Arms on one side but the other offers a grand entrance through parkland.
It was built in the 1720s by architect Matthew Brettingham, re-modelled in 1780 by Soane, for Thomas Pitt, 1st Lord Camelford, himself an amateur architect. Soane rebuilt much of the hall, making it considerably grander with a magnificent cantilevered stone staircase. In 1991 the house, which had been in institutional use for nearly 60 years, was acquired by the current owners and a programme of restoration and refurbishment was begun.
Max Sowerby, the agent selling the house, said: "It's a one-off, sometimes houses can look rather sad when you clear them out but this one doesn't. You can see exactly what you are getting."