Entire English village 'sold for around £20m'

West Heslerton, near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, now owned by investment firm

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An English village - including a 21-bedroom mansion, 43 houses, a pub, a range of other buildings and more than 2,000 acres of farmland - has been sold.

West Heslerton, near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, is believed to have been bought for around its £20 million asking price but Albanwise Ltd, its new owner, would only say it had bought it for an "undisclosed figure".

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A spokesman for the Norfolk-based real estate and farming investment firm said: "Albanwise Ltd is due to become the new owner of West Heslerton Estate and looks forward to incorporating this within our North Yorkshire Estate."

The village, which was put on the market last year, has been owned by the same family for generations. A decision to sell was taken after the death of Eve Dawnay, the last owner, five years ago, at the age of 84.

Her benevolent management of West Heslerton has meant very little has changed among the rented cottages for 50 years.

Cundalls, the estate agents who handled the sale, put the current rental and subsidy income at around £388,000 per annum.

Albanwise Ltd expects an official handover on Friday.

Miss Dawnay, who had no single heir, inherited the estate in 1964. It has been in her family for 150 years.

But she moved out of West Heslerton Hall 30 years ago and it has not been lived in since.

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

Miss Dawnay's sister, Verena Elliott, previously said: "We all loved it and it would be very hard to find a village with more loyal and lovely people living in it. There is a real sense of community which is hard to find these days."

Mrs Elliott's daughter Bridget, who still lives in the village and has been the shepherd on the estate, has also said: "It will be strange to return and not be able to just wander around like I always have; that it will belong to somebody else.

"But times have changed especially when it comes to farming, and it will be lovely to see new life breathed into the estate."

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