Alfoxden – no news is good news?


I wish I could give an authoritative update on the fate of Alfoxden (I insist on the old spelling).

You are probably aware that it was auctioned at the end of October. The guide price was £500,000 to £750,000. For this you would be getting the Grade II listed country house, a courtyard of traditional stone barns with potential for conversion, a walled garden, tennis court, modest cottage, deer park and woodland. In all 55 acres.

Someone told me that a prestigious hotel chain dropped out of the bidding at around £800,000. It was finally sold for just over £1.3 million.

But who bought it? No one seems to know, or if they do they're not saying (although a rumour suggests a tennis academy). What are the likely options: A country hotel? Apartments, most probably for workers at the Hinkley nuclear site? A Macdonalds with picturesque rural drive-thru? A Wordsworth and Coleridge study centre? (in our dreams).

When we do find out I will be approaching the new owners to suggest that I put together a couple of interpretation panels, maybe for the hall or a separate room, so that visitors, whoever they are and whatever they are there for,  are aware of the house's important literary heritage.

If anyone does hear any firm news, do please let me know. Terence Sackett, Friends of Coleridge (