Abandoned Mansions for sale UK

Although a few abandoned mansions have been converted into modern apartments, the majority of them are still boarded up and waiting for a buyer to restore them to their former glory.

Kinmel Hall - Aerial photo

Abandoned and Derelict Mansions in the UK

The majority of England’s abandoned mansions are in London and the South East, but abandoned mansions can be found all over the country. Although a few of these dilapidated buildings and abandoned properties have been converted into modern apartments, the majority of them are still boarded up and waiting for a buyer to restore them to their former glory.

During times of economic prosperity, an abandoned mansion could be purchased for a low price, but upkeep is expensive. When the UK experienced a recession, many new owners discovered they couldn’t afford to keep up with repayments or maintenance costs, and some of these large houses were abandoned.

Abandoned mansion - Kinmell Hall

What is the definition of a mansion?

A mansion is not classified based on its specific dimensions. There are usually multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as staff quarters. A mansion is simply a large house, and the majority of them are (or were) owned by the same family for generations. 

Country mansions are typically located on a large estate, but grand and luxurious homes in cities can also be found.

Between the 15th and 18th centuries, the number of large houses built in the UK increased. Many entrepreneurs owned both a large country house and a town mansion, which signalled their success to the rest of the world, with the layout and style of the buildings designed to emphasise their wealth.

Abandoned Mansions: Common Questions

What Characteristics do Abandoned Mansions Possess?

Mansions usually have numerous bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as a large kitchen and multiple function rooms. Wine cellars and staff quarters are also usually found in mansions.

In more modern mansions, you may also find a swimming pool, tennis court, and stables.

Can you buy an Abandoned Mansion?

If you have the funds and can locate the owners, you can purchase an abandoned mansion. There are hundreds of abandoned properties in the UK, but most large houses will require a significant sum of money to restore and maintain. It will be costly to restore an old mansion that has fallen into disrepair, and there may be issues with obtaining planning permission for listed structures.

What is the best way to track down the owner of an abandoned mansion?

The first place to inquire about the owners of abandoned property is with the council and locals. The family who built the mansion may still own it if it is very old. Because some old mansions aren’t listed in the Land Registry, local sources are the best place to look for ownership information.

Where in the UK can I buy abandoned mansions?

The majority of abandoned mansions are found in London, which is still the wealthiest city in the world. Many abandoned old properties can also be found in cities that were once important in the industrial revolution. Liverpool, Bristol, and Manchester were once industrial hubs, and now have a plethora of large houses that have been abandoned.

In the countryside, in places like Devon, Yorkshire, and Cumbria, magnates of industry built mansions or stately homes. Abandoned mansions can be found all over the UK once you start looking.

Who buys abandoned mansions?

The most likely buyers of an abandoned mansion or a large derelict property are those with a high income. Young urban professionals, or ‘yuppies,’ used to make a lot of money in the city and spend it on real estate before the recessions of the 1980s and 1990s. Nowadays, well-paid footballers or well-known celebrities are more likely to have the financial means to resurrect an abandoned mansion.

In the countryside, in places like Devon, Yorkshire, and Cumbria, magnates of industry built mansions or stately homes. Abandoned mansions can be found all over the UK once you start looking.

What causes mansions and large houses to be abandoned?

Mansions and other large country houses are left vacant or derelict for the same reasons as any other type of property. Old family property is often abandoned due to inheritance tax and death duties.

If the structure is of architectural significance, it may be difficult to obtain planning permission. Owners may face difficulties due to access issues across adjoining land, as well as the issue of inheritance, which may result in a disagreement over ownership.

The main reason for a large property being abandoned is due to a lack of funds.

Known abandoned mansions in the UK

In the United Kingdom, there are a number of known abandoned mansions.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most well-known abandoned homes and country estates in the UK

Abergele, Wales’s Kinmel Hall

The current Kinmel Hall (1870s), which was built on the site for the third time and is an example of a calendar house, was completed in 1786. Since 1929, it has served as a spa, a hospital, and a girls’ school in addition to being a private residence.

Kinmel Hall - Aerial photo
Photo credit to allsop.co.uk

After a fire in 1975, some restoration was done, but no work has been done since it was purchased by a development company.

The owners have been put under pressure to prevent further decay of this large country house, which has been designated as an ‘at risk’ structure.

The property was recently sold for £950,000, by allsop auctions.

The property listing was described as “An Important Grade 1 Listed Hall and adjacent Grades 1 and II Listed Stable Block”

Key features of the property comprised of:

  • Construction was completed in 1874 and the property was designed by the architect WE Nesfield in the style of the Palace of Versailles
  • Comprising a grand central staircase, impressive formal rooms, a former chapel and multiple bedrooms, Kinmel Hall was originally built as a ‘calendar house’ since it had 365 windows, 122 rooms and 12 entrances
  • Range of outbuildings including a courtyard stable block and storage barns
  • Total Gross External Floor Area (excluding stable block) in excess of 7,432 sq m (80,000 sq ft)
  • Site Area approximately 7.09 Hectares (17.51 Acres)
  • Suitable for a variety of alternative uses including hotel, conference centre, educational establishment and conversion to residential units, subject to consents
  • In need of extensive renovation

Uckfield Sussex, Hamilton Palace

Hamilton Palace is a modern mansion that was never finished and has been abandoned for more than 30 years. The £40 million mansion, which features a copper dome and was intended to house a large art collection, was abandoned by property baron Nicholas Van Hoogstraten and is currently unfinished.

The property has been dubbed the “Ghost House of Sussex” by locals, and it is also known as the “Devil’s Palace” by others.

Wigan, Winstanley Hall

Winstanley Hall, one of only three Tudor buildings in the Wigan Borough, was built for the lord of the manor in the 1560s. The property was purchased by the Bankes family in 1596, and the same family lived there until the 1980s.

Winstanley Hall, Wigan

The mansion’s upkeep became too much for its owners, so it was sold in 2000 along with ten acres of land. Work on the building, which was supposed to be developed and renovated into private apartments, has yet to begin, and it is now deteriorating.

Rossendale, Horncliffe Mansion

Horncliffe Mansion, Rossendale

Horncliffe House, in Rossendale, was built in the Victorian era and has been in a state of disrepair since 2009. The mansion, which was built in 1869 by a local mill owner, was a stunning structure with a large ballroom, ornate staircases, and breathtaking views of the valley.

The mansion was used as a care home until 2009, when it was nearly completely destroyed by fire in 2019.