A glorious 17th century pile in Battersea – arguably the area’s finest specimen – has been mixed up in a row between a former Russian billionaire and the Kremlin.
Once owned by the Forbes family, the Grade II listed Old Battersea House on Vicarage Crescent is reportedly about to hit the market, two years after a high-ranking oligarch’s UK assets were frozen by the High Court.
Last sold for £12m five years ago, the glorious 10,000 square foot manor house – which some say was designed by none other than Sir Christopher Wren – has ten bedrooms, a baroque hallway, panelled drawing rooms, sweeping stairs and a walled garden. Particulars from 2011 describe a place “graced by Kings, Princes and Presidents”, with former owners including Colonel Charles G. Stirling and Malcolm Forbes. The latter brought the house and grand interior back to life in 1970 after it fell into a sorry state and went on to install one of the great collections of Victorian art. Somewhat bizarrely, Liz Taylor also spent her (seventh) honeymoon there in 1991.
Reports in the Russian press claim a former close advisor to both Putin and Yeltsin bought the place after being accused of “siphoning” money from a bank and fleeing the country. The charges were strongly denied and deemed “politically motivated” in IB Times earlier this year, but according to Kommersant, the bank’s bankruptcy trustee plans to put the property up for sale “as soon as possible”, along with a chunky country estate in Hertfordshire, which has also been embroiled in the affair.
The report added that London-based law firm Hogan Lovells has already been briefed..
Original listing from 2011 here
Photographs by Edwardx (CC-BY-SA-3.0)