Canterbury based architect Tim Ellis has bought a remote Cumbrian farmhouse made famous by the cult film Withnail & I
Sleddale hall, near Shap, has been unoccupied for many years and attracted worldwide interest when sold at a London auction in February. The initial sale eventually fell through and the property was sold to Canterbury based architect Tim Ellis for an undisclosed fee.
Mr Ellis – a conservation architect – hopes to restore the building into a house using his specialist knowledge.
He said: ‘I first saw the film about seven years ago and have been a fan ever since. I would like to restore the building in a way that other fans of the film could approve of. There is a lot of work to be done before I can draw up firm plans but my intention is not to deprive Sleddale’s many admirers of its links with its iconic past.’
Although Sleddale hall is only accessible by a dirt track and is two miles from the nearest proper road, Tim is determined to make the house habitable: ‘It’s too early to say exactly how that will happen, but it will probably be by restoring the downstairs rooms which were used in the film, the ground floor kitchen and sitting area. I would like to be able to restore these as close to the period in the film as possible so that would mean no overhead lighting, radiators or other obvious modern intrusions.’
The project has to pass the local planning commitee before the full extent of the restoration will be revealed.