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A property surrounded by trees
Photograph: Savills

Now for sale: this ‘Grand Designs’ property that could be your own villain’s lair

It could be yours for as little as £5.9 million

Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson
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Fancy calling this unique 5,175-square-foot property – complete with a moat, cinema room and mini golf course – your home? Abbey Orchard House has just hit the market, and could be yours if you’re lucky enough to have a spare £5.95 million lying around. 

The home is half a mile from St Albans city centre and featured on a 2017 episode of Grand Designs, in which presenter Kevin McCloud praised its ‘soft light’ and ‘breathtaking interiors’. The zig-zag-shaped building was designed by its current owners, who lived there for six years before deciding to put the house up for sale this month. 

It’s only accessible by crossing a moat-style feature and is surrounded by two acres of grounds. There’s a cinema room with electronic blackout blinds, a snug, parking for up to 20 cars, a riverside walk and even a mini golf course. And with five bedrooms, each with a private terrace, as well as five bathrooms and four reception rooms, you’re certainly not going to be short of entertaining space.

The property was built on the grounds of the Abbey of St Albans and was subject to strict planning permission, due to it being built on a site of archaeological remains. It took six years and more than 300 drawings to settle on a design that met the necessary requirements and four more to finish building the house.

Want to find out more about the property? You can view the full listing on the estate agent’s website here.  

Plus: an epic new walking trail links up the most beautiful parts of northern England.

ICMYI: Collins Dictionary has revealed its official words of the year.

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