Tuesday Tidbit: Updown Court

Your Mama somehow missed all the many mid-October (2011) reports–we blame the lapse on gin and nerve pills–that revealed the opulent monster mansion in the U.K. known as Updown Court was sold–Sold!–for £35,000,000 to an as yet unidentified "foreign businessman."

Thirty five million pounds–$56,202,300 at today's rates according to our currency conversion contraption–is by any and all standards a serious and significant amount of money to cough up for a private residence. It is none-the-less, chick-a-doodles, nowhere near the hefty (and approximately) $145,000,000 at which the 50,000-plus square foot pile was first listed six or so years ago.

The gilt-trimmed 58-acre Updown Court estate was developed by a gentleman named Leslie Allen-Vercoe who may (or may not) have spent as much as £50,000,000 purchasing the land and constructing the massively monolithic but–in our humble and meaningless opinion–architecturally challenged mega-mansion that boasts such extravaganzas as a triple-height entrance hall that has more in common size-wise with a mid-sized suburban shopping mall than a private home.

Sometime in 2005 the property was listed with an asking price of about $145,000,000, making it the highest-priced house on the market in the U.K. In June 2011 the property was re-listed with an asking price of £75,000,000, a figure that then converted to just over $123,000,000. The new price was twenty million clams lower than the original price but still well more than twice what the "foreign businessman" buyer reportedly paid for it.

As have many property developers who had a lot of money on the line, Mister Allen-Vercoe ran into some financial troubles set off by the global real estate slump triggered in large part by the 2007 sub-prime mortgage meltdown in the United States. Unable to make his meet his mortgage obligations the hotel-sized house fell into the hungry jaws of foreclosure and was seized by the Irish government earlier this year.

The Irish government apparently didn't have any need for the 40-plus room white elephant in the upscale rural London suburb of Surrey and quickly heaved it back on the market.
The scale and scope of the four-floor house flabbergasts and nearly defies imagination. Floor plans included with marketing materials for Updown Court show it was built with such necessities and conveniences as a marble driveway, a dozen or more fireplaces, two-lane bowling alley, indoor squash court, home theater, panic room, underground parking for at least seven cars, and a house-sized master suite with glass elevator that connects to a private indoor swimming pool and spa. The massive mansion and estate has four more swimming pools including a negative edge number on a fourth floor terrace shared by two titanic guest apartments that each comprise 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.

Note: The above is just a teaser. Your Mama suggests y'all steel your nerves with some liquor before you click through but any of the children who have yet to peep or would like to revisit Updown Court's floor plan full monte can view them here.

listing photo: Updown Court
floor plan: Savills