A home to call your own

14th July 2000 at 01:00
(Photograph) - In the wake of the recent suggestion by Mo Mowlam that the royal family might consider leaving Buckingham Palace for a smaller home, the following document was found on a laptop computer left by an estate agent on the 18.35 to Godalming.

For sale by private vendor: a magnificent freehold property situated in its own extensive grounds in a unique central London location.

This Grade 1 listed building retains many original features, and benefits from ornamental gates to the front, a fine porticoed entrance (with king-sized balcony) and a fully equipped underground police station.

While it would ideally suit a large family, the property could equally be converted to hotel use (subject to planning consent). Alternatively, it might be considered as ideal head-office accommodation for a multi-national corporation seeking a prestigious West End address.

The accommodation comprises: 19 luxuriously appointed reception rooms, 51 master bedrooms (all with en suite facilities, dressing rooms etc), 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices, 78 bathrooms and too many lavatories to mention.

In addition there are an indeterminate number of rooms which nobody has ever set foot in and of which the present owners have no precise knowledge.

Extensive attics, basements, cellars and bunkers offer valuable storage hobbyrefuge space, and there is a self-contained granny flat to the rear.

The present owners have retained many charming and discreet original features, including marble columns, painted ceilings, fabulous silk wall coverings, extensive giltwork and countless period fireplaces.

Electronic security systes have been installed throughout, and all drainpipes have been painted with Faganite (anti-intruder coating by Royal Appointment). In addition, many external doors are equipped with electronic dog flaps.

The extensive gardens, which comprise both formal and landscaped areas, are surprisingly spacious, and have potential for outdoor entertaining and garden parties (weather permitting).

The grounds also include stables, dog kennels, summer houses etc, and incorporate a paved area to the front which is suitable for marching, trooping of colour, walking of dogs etc.

The property benefits from off-road parking and has garaging for one glass coach.

While the house has been in the same family since 1762, when it was purchased from the Duke of Buckingham for pound;21,000, it has been enlarged at public expense. However, claims that it is "the biggest council house in Britain" are unfounded (there is a larger one at Windsor).

Reason for sale: the present owners are an elderly couple who are reluctantly relocating to a smaller property. It is understood that there will be no chain involved in any purchase.

Price: available on request. Council tax band: NA. Photograph by: Thomas Kellner

WEBLINKS

Taking inspiration form the Cubist painter Robert Delaunay, the photographer Thomas Kellner began creating these "deconstructions" of famous buildings in 1997. To read about Kellner's methods, visit www.ipc.co.ukpubsamphotog.htm

History of Buckingham Palace: http:members.home.netstudnibbuckham.html

Unofficial royal archives: www.royalarchive.com

Official royal archives: www.royal.gov.uk


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