Unbelievable surprises found inside seventeenth-century farm

Aerial view of the house

On the outside, it's a traditional stone-built farmhouse, nestled amongst the hills of the Peak National Park.

On the inside, though, it's one man's extraordinary folly, packed with weird and wonderful features.

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Shaw Bottom Farm, near Leek, in Staffordshire, was bought by architect Rod Hackney in 1977, and has been dramatically redeveloped from its seventeenth-century origins.

Its most striking feature is probably the basement swimming pool, installed in 1985. Its dramatic decor includes 12 hardwood carvings of Indian gods and two made-to-measure granite carvings of the Hindu goddess of knowledge, Saraswati.

There are two arched Tiffany-style windows and ceiling roses salvaged from Clitheroe Chapel in Lancashire - as well as a twenty-foot flume that starts in the attic and snakes through the drawing and reception rooms before leading into the pool.

The pool with water flume

And the rest of the five-bedroom house is barely more conventional. There's a music room, for example, with original Minton tile flooring, oak pews and panelling - and a large Victorian pipe organ.

Along with several reception rooms, there's a cinema room with a partly mirrored ceiling, a sauna and a playroom housing a model railway track.

There are stained glass windows everywhere, ecclesiastical carvings and a circular mosaic bath.

The Victorial pipe organ

Outside, the house has 23 acres, including an oriental garden, a stream and a number of ponds. There's also a good-sized barn with planning permission for conversion into more accommodation.

Agents Whittaker & Biggs suggest that the property could make a good business opportunity, with holiday accommodation and equestrian facilities.

The living room

"This opportunity to create a potential business and incorporate equestrian pursuits in the heart of the Peak National Park needs further exploration and a viewing is strongly urged," they say.

"There is the option for prospective purchasers to utilise the existing accommodation, the self-contained guest suite with separate access, and create holiday or ancillary accommodation to suit personal requirements."

Shaw Bottom Farm costs £899,950.

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