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UK's most-viewed home: a footballer's pad or stately house?

Patrick Collinson
The master bedroom at former West Ham striker Andy Carroll’s Chigwell mansion in Essex. Photograph: Rightmove

They are this year’s five most-viewed properties on the UK’s biggest house-selling website – from a Premier League footballer’s “wagtastic” Essex mansion to a castle that could double for Downton Abbey.

Former West Ham footballer Andy Carroll scored top place in the 2019 Rightmove list of most-snooped-around properties with his Chigwell home, shared with his partner, Billi Mucklow, a star of the The Only Way Is Essex television show.

Its 8,000 sq feet of zebra print walls, a sweeping marble staircase, mirrored-ceiling master bedroom and dark velour-clad cinema room went on the market in January with a £5m price tag.

Andy Carroll’s Chigwell kitchen. Photograph: Rightmove

Located on Chigwell’s millionaire row, it includes a full-size football pitch, swimming pool and tennis court. Buyers can pop down to the nearby Sheesh restaurant, a celebrity haunt in a building owned by fellow Chigwell resident Lord Alan Sugar, where footballers Harry Kane and Rio Ferdinand have been pictured hanging out.

But despite gaining 150,000 views on Rightmove, the property has yet to find a buyer after 11 months on the market.

Footballers appear to have trouble selling their luxury pads, because the third most-viewed property on Rightmove is a triple-level penthouse occupying the 44th to 46th floors of Manchester’s Beetham Tower. It is understood to be owned by former Manchester United and England defender Phil Neville, now manager of the England women’s team. First listed on Rightmove in June 2017 for £4m, it has failed to find a buyer and the asking price is now £3.5m.

The 44th-46th floor penthouse at Beetham House, Manchester is believed to be owned by Phil Neville. Photograph: Rightmove

It has four bedrooms, a chandelier cascading down a spiral staircase and views of Old Trafford. The agents describe it as “aspirational living at its best”. The current owner can at least comfort themselves with the rental income, believed to be around £15,000 a month.

Fourth in the league of most-viewed properties on Rightmove was yet another home in top-flight football territory. Prestbury, a picturesque village in Cheshire’s “golden triangle” is home to Wayne Rooney and Peter Crouch.

The home in Prestbury, in Cheshire’s ‘golden triangle’, replete with gym and pool (of course). Photograph: Rightmove

Overdale is a seven-bed mansion with spa, indoor pool and gym priced at £3.95m, but it too has hung around on the market for a long time, after first being listed in November last year. James Webster of agents Gascoigne Halman said: “We’ve had a couple of near-misses with buyers. It has been an interesting market this year what with Brexit and the election and there is considerable holding of breath until the outcome on Thursday night. I think after that we’ll see a lot more activity.”

Castles were the other properties most sought after by professional snoopers. Glenborrodale Castle, a five-storey of the Scots baronial architectural style, was the second-most viewed home on Rightmove. But with a price tag of £3.75m the buyer will get rather more than a footballer’s palace; apart from the 16 bedrooms there are 132 acres, a gate lodge, coach house and three islands.

Imagine the heating bill at Glenborrodale Castle in Scotland. Photograph: Rightmove

The fifth most-viewed property on Rightmove during the year was perhaps its most traditionally appealing: a 400-year-old grade I-listed country manor in Christow, about 12 miles southwest of Exeter. Priced at £3.95m, Canonteign Manor was taken for King Charles I and his troops during the English civil war and was built on land given to the canons of St Mary du Val in Normandy around 1125.

Rightmove’s five most-viewed homes in 2019

1. Chigwell, Essex, £4.95m, nine-bed mansion

2. Glenborrodale Castle, Loch Sunart, Scotland, 16-bed castle, £3.75m

3. Beetham Tower, Manchester, four-bed penthouse, £3.5m

4. Prestbury, Cheshire, seven-bed house, £3.95m

5. Christow, Exeter, 10-bed manor, £3.95m

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