Entire Yorkshire village goes up for sale

West Helerston will set you back a mere £20 million

Updated: 

Yours for £20m: An entire village in North Yorkshire


Got a spare £20 million lying around? Then you could buy an entire English village.

West Heslerton, near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, has been put up for sale – including its 21-bedroom mansion, 43 houses, a pub, a range of other buildings and more than 2,000 acres of farmland.

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You better get in fast, though, because estate agents have been inundated with inquiries.

Aerial view of West Heslerton

"We've had an incredible amount of interest already," said Tom Watson, director of Cundalls, the estate agents handling the sale.

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"My phone's been ringing off the hook. We've had about 50 requests for details already."

Watson – who went to the village primary school – added: "It's a once-in-a-generation opportunity."

West Heslerton Hall

The village has been put up for sale following the death of Eve Dawnay, the last owner, five years ago, at the age of 84.

The village has been owned by the same family for generations but, with Dawnay having no single heir, they decision has been made to sell.

Dawnay's benevolent management of West Heslerton has meant very little has changed among the rented cottages for 50 years while Watson said she had kept property rents "very low".

"This has helped keep a vibrant village community with a mixed group of ages and there are obviously a lot of people hoping that somebody with a similar benevolent nature will come along to take over the estate," he said.

a property as part of a sale for the West Heslerton Estate(Cundalls/PA)

The family would ideally like the new buyer to see the estate run the same way but there is obvious potential for developers and Watson stressed the sale is open to all potential buyers.

"It would be perfect for somebody wanting to build up and leave a legacy. The estate has been very much untouched in the past 50 years and is now a blank canvas, ready to be shaped for the next generation," he said.

"Of course, there can be no denying that the estate is also going to be very attractive to developers and investors as, in many respects, time has stood still in West Heslerton.

"There are now endless possibilities – be it to convert buildings, develop possible plots and commercial opportunities – but I know that in an ideal world Dawnay's family would really like to see the estate carry on in a similar vein."

Keepers Cottage in West Heslerton(Cundalls/PA)

Dawnay inherited the estate in 1964. It has been in her family for 150 years. She moved out of West Heslerton Hall 30 years ago and it has not been lived-in since.

The hall is the centrepiece of the £20 million offer, which also includes Miss Dawnay's purpose-built four-bedroom home and even the village petrol station and more than 100 acres of woodland.

Watson wondered whether the sale would boost lottery ticket sales in the area.

He said: "This really will be a dream purchase for somebody and it will be interesting to see how the new owners manage the estate going forward."

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