Film Locations

For sale: Uncle Monty's cottage from Withnail and I

Saturday, December 06, 2008 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

A remote Cumbrian farmhouse – made famous in the cult 1986 film Withnail & I – is to be sold at auction.

Isolated Sleddale Hall, near Shap, is being put up for sale by water company United Utilities for a guide price of over £145,000.

It will go under the hammer with Savills (L & P) Ltd on February 16. Another United Utilities property Vaugh Steel, at Bampton, Penrith, will also be sold at the same auction.

Sleddale Hall, which has been unoccupied for many years, sits on the north side of Wet Sleddale valley and is accessible only via a dirt track. It is almost two miles from the nearest public road and a mile from the nearest inhabited house.

It has long been an interest for fans of the film Withnail & I, starring Richard E Grant and Paul McGann. The film tells the story of two out of work actors in the 1960s who venture to the Lakes to escape London only to find themselves hilariously ill-equipped for the bleak conditions they encounter.

As “Uncle Monty’s cottage”, Sleddale Hall was used for many exterior shots but the interior was little used for filming. It contains many original features and the structure has been recently stabilised and the roof repaired to keep it wind and water-tight.

Built from stone and Lake District slate, Sleddale Hall and its associated outbuildings form a picturesque quadrangle and were probably built in the mid 18th century.

It was originally acquired by the Manchester Corporation in the 1920s as part of the land required to meet Manchester’s growing need for drinking water. The Manchester Corporation eventually became part of North West Water and then United Utilities.

United Utilities senior land agent on its Thirlmere Estate, Edward Holt said: “Sleddale Hall is in one of the quietest parts of the Lake District. I hope it is bought by someone who can restore it. It would make a lovely family home.”

A residential use of the property would be subject to the necessary planning consents being obtained.

Savills director Paul Mooney said he had experience of selling homes that had been film locations – including the Dursleys’ suburban home from the Harry Potter films. Although they tended to attract a lot of interest from film buffs it didn’t necessarily affect the sale price, he added.

“Withnail is an iconic film and there may be a few eccentrics out there who would be interested in owning a piece of film history. Sleddale Hall will certainly garner a bit more public interest than a house of this type normally would. However that doesn’t necessarily equate to a higher price. It’s still a lovely building in a beautiful part of the world.”

Sleddale Hall will be auctioned at The Berkley Hotel, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RL at 10.30am on Monday February 16, 2009. To register an interest or receive a copy of the marketing details please contact Paul Mooney at Savills on 0207 824 9091.