Fire-damaged farmhouse of ‘eccentric’ ex-huntmaster for sale

Highlightley Farm, in Dronfield, Derbyshire, is to go under the hammer
Highlightley Farm, in Dronfield, Derbyshire, is to go under the hammer
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A large family farmhouse and land inherited by a well-known local huntmaster is up for sale in a unique buying opportunity after she died without a will.

Highlightley Farm, in Dronfield, is to go under the hammer at auction in Sheffield – six years after former owner and Barlow Huntmaster Anne Wilson died intestate aged 89.

‘Miss Anne’ – as she was known – inherited the large house with farmland and stables from her aunt and lived there for 40 years, but moved into a caravan in the grounds before her death after the Barlow property became dilapidated.

Joint huntmaster of the Barlow Hunt for 20 years, she died in Chesterfield Hospital after gas from a portable heater ignited inside her caravan home.

Her stone built detached farmhouse with adjoining L-shaped outbuilding is set in eight acres has a guide price of £400,000. Meanwhile 200 acres of grazing land and woodland will also be up for sale in 14 separate lots.

Miss Anne was an eccentric and respected well-known figure among the hunting and farming communities – a former Land Girl, Guide Leader, President of Barlow Pony Club, and a fan of fast horses as well as cars.

Adrian Little, head of the auction department at Mark Jenkinson and Son, said: “The farmhouse and buildings are in a very poor state of repair and have been damaged by fire, but would suit a buyer looking for a large-scale refurbishment project, and while there is no planning consent at present there is potential.

“This auction is a unique opportunity to purchase a building and, or, land with real scope for development in an enviable setting and, as such, is likely to attract a lot of interest.”

The auction is at 2pm on Tuesday, June 2, at The Platinum Suite, Sheffield United Football Club.