A spectacular abandoned mansion, dating from 1905 and set in the Cambridgeshire countryside, will be going to auction with a guide price of £100,000 - £125,000. To be sold by Cheffins Auctioneers in Cambridge on Wednesday 27th September, the property was last occupied in the 1950s, then used for agricultural storage before falling derelict following multiple fires during its history.

Now with only the remains of what was once one of the grandest houses in the local area still standing, the brick-built property sits in 1.12 acres of overgrown gardens with a number of outbuildings and is in need of fully clearing. The outer walls of red brick with stone flashings which remain, hint to the grandeur of the property when it was first built, scaling to an enormous height and with a number of large chimneys and the vast reception spaces which are still visible.

The house was built for Mr E Sidney Thoday, a seed merchant, who then sold the property in 1910 to William Stanley Spark a stockbroker, who went on to lose his fortune during the 1929 stock market crash. Known as Redlands, the vast 16-room property originally had an imposing entrance with stone steps, leading to vast reception spaces with elaborate mosaic flooring, enormous fireplaces, an expansive cellar, eight bedrooms and servant’s quarters. In its heyday, the house had a balcony running the length of the first floor and a full-size tennis lawn, orchard and extensive gardens reaching to over 1.1 acres, as well as owning a number of acres of surrounding farmland. Following the financial demise of Mr Spark, the property was sold on again to a Russian Lecturer called Mr A Besicovitch, and then after World War II, Mr F L Dawson, a banker, purchased the property. In 1956 a major fire, thought to have been started by an electric heater, ravaged the inside of the house, ruining the interior and much of the roof.

It is now in the ownership of Mr Keith Tyler, who inherited the property from his father who bought it in 1959 for £900. He comments: “My father was a carpenter & joiner by trade with a sideline of rush cutting, and he bought Redlands originally to store boats and to have an area for drying the rushes. His dream was to renovate the property and to this end he accumulated a huge amount of building materials, and being an inveterate collector throughout his life, also acquired everything including cars, boats and agricultural machinery, much of which remains at Redlands. Unfortunately, age overtook his ability to complete a renovation of the property, and he died in 2007 aged 100 years, leaving his dream unfulfilled. Throughout the years my family maintained the grounds and harvested the fruit from the orchard which was stored in the cellar. I have many fond memories of spending the weekends here as a child, playing in the gardens and throughout the enormous house.”

The house then suffered two more fires, the worst in 1996 which destroyed all the internal floors, most of the rooms, as well as what had remained of the original roof.

Keith Tyler continues: “I really hope that someone falls in love with the romance of Redlands. It really is time for someone to take it on and bring it back to its former glory. It is now completely overgrown, with what was once a beech hedge now standing at well over twenty feet high, trees all through the inside of the property and brambles at head height.”

The property is accessed via a private bridge over a dyke, with the main access having been temporarily blocked. Redlands was removed from the rating list in 1996, following the extensive fire damage, and mains electricity, gas and water connections have been capped off.

There is an additional two acres of land, adjacent to Redlands, which will be offered at the same auction with a pre-sale estimate of £50,000 - £60,000.

Ian Kitson, Director at Cheffins who is handling the sale comments: “This is an amazing opportunity for someone to either recreate the stunning property which once stood on the site, or alternatively to create something new in a much sought-after location. Despite the site needing some significant clearing, Redlands is a magical property in a fairytale setting, and for the right buyer this will be a truly unique prospect. We are expecting significant interest from both developers and private buyers and are delighted to have the opportunity to offer this incredible property to the market.”

Completely invisible from the road, Redlands is located just outside of Longstanton, six miles northwest of Cambridge. The village has a number of services including a supermarket, post office, doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries, recreation ground and a number of pubs.

The auction will take place on Wednesday 27th September, from 2pm, online at www.cheffins.co.uk

For further information, contact Cheffins Property Auction team on 01223 213343, property.auctions@cheffins.co.uk