Bankrupt's multi-million mansion on sale for £250,000

This Grade I listed house in Somerset includes a ballroom, a library, 30 acres of land and even has a few follies thrown in, but is on sale for a fraction of its true value after the businessman who owned it went bust

Described by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as "the most important house of its date in the country", this stunning mansion could be yours for a knock-down price.

Halswell House in Somerset is on sale for just £250,000, after the last owner Graham Bond was declared bankrupt and his home put up for auction.

Complete with ballroom, banqueting hall and acres of land, a comparable property typically sells for several million.

But this Grade I listed property is now the same price as a one-bedroom flat in one of London's less exclusive areas.

Graham Bond outside Halswell House (SWNS)

The 17th century estate was bought by the businessman in 2004 and underwent a massive refurbishment.

It has since been used as a luxury wedding venue. And in 2009 the police were called to break up a mass orgy during a black-tie ball organised by a Dutch adult entertainment firm that had hired it out for the night.

Mr Bond's 78-year-old mother, Stella Bond, staged a three day sit in the library to prevent it being repossessed by bailiffs. But Halswell House was subsequently repossessed and has been listed by specialist land and property auctioneers Clive Emson.

The Grade I-listed property looks as if it should be worth several million pounds (SWNS)

"This is a unique opportunity to acquire in broad terms your own hamlet," said Graham Barton, of Clive Emson auctioneers.

"The mansion house is in an elevated position with breathtaking rural views over the Somerset countryside...  Halswell House is ready to become a magnificent private home once again, although it will interest investors with a variety of plans."

"Opportunities to bid on something of this scale and of such historical and architectural importance are astonishingly rare."

The Tudor house on the estate was built in 1536 for Robert Halswell and was passed down the family, one of whose members was Sir Nicholas Halswell, who became MP for Bridgwater in 1603.

Later the Halswells married into the wealthy Somerset Tynte family and Sir Halswell Tynte oversaw the development of the 17th century mansion including the huge Palladian block that looks north towards the Bristol Channel.

In the 18th century, Sir Charles Tynte made substantial improvements to both houses, renovated the earlier formal garden, and erected follies and other elements.

There is a grotto, temple, ruins, as well as a large dovecote.

In 1923 a fire caused extensive damage but the house was rebuilt and during the Second World War it served as a girls' school. Some of the land was made a prisoner of war camp.

The National Trust declined the opportunity to take on the house after the war and the estate was sold and broken up.

The sale on December 17 will be held at the St Mellion International Resort, St Mellion, Cornwall.