Thousand-year-old estate becomes a modern flip

Thousand-year-old estate becomes a modern flip
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England's Shakenhurst Estate, old enough to merit a mention in William the Conqueror's thousand-year-old "Domesday Book" property survey, just became that most modern of real estate phenomena: a flip.

The Meysey family owned it from 1349 until the 2008 death of the manor's last Meysey custodian, an artist who worked on the Pink Floyd film "The Wall," died in 2008. Her children listed it at 12 million pounds, and the estate sold in 2010 to renovators -- who put it back on the market last year for 16 million pounds (nearly $27 million at today's exchange rates).

The Staddons, an English family that has been in farming for many generations, bought the 1,324-acre property, the real estate agency Knight Frank just recently announced.

The estate consists of the 12-bedroom Shakenhurst Hall (rebuilt in the late 1700s "around an Elizabethan core," says Knight Frank) plus 15 farmhouses and cottages, as well as miles of trout fishing along the River Rea and what Knight Frank calls an "excellent high bird pheasant shoot."

It's on the border of Worcestershire and Shropshire; the nearest town is Cleobury Mortimer. Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's birthplace, isn't far away.

William the Conqueror gave the property to Ralph de Toeni -- a warrior who had "a fondness for feeding prisoners to one another," according to a rollicking history of the property in the Daily Mail -- after the 1066 Battle of Hastings, the Daily Mail wrote recently.

The new owners, the Staddons, said that they'd been forced to relocate and were attracted to Shakenhurst because it fulfilled their needs: "We were in search of a large number of acres (1000 plus) of fertile arable land, the ability to rear quality livestock and accommodate a dairy unit, with the opportunity to expand and take on new challenges." The price they paid was unavailable.

Click here or on a photo to see a slideshow of the remodeled thousand-year-old Shakenhurst Estate.

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