Top businessman may be new owner of country house

Lorbottle Hall, near Whittingham.
Lorbottle Hall, near Whittingham.
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Speculation is rife that a leading businessman is the new owner of a north Northumberland country home.

Lorbottle Hall, to the south-west of Whittingham, described in the particulars as a ‘handsome principal house’ with six bedrooms, was recently up for sale with a guide price of £3.5million.

Now, a planning application for the property has been submitted to Northumberland County Council in the name of Jeremy Hosking.

It has been speculated that this is the British businessman who made his money in investment and private equity and was ranked 333rd on the Sunday Times Rich List in 2009 with a value of £170million.

He owns a number of steam locomotives and one diesel locomotive as well as a 25 per cent stake in Crystal Palace FC, newly returned to the Premier League this season, as part of a consortium which bought Selhurst Park and then the club out of administration.

However, representatives for the businessman and the planning application have refused to confirm whether Mr Hosking has purchased the property.

The grade II-listed Lorbottle Hall dates back to 1789 and it is believed to have been built for Adam Atkinson, who moved into the property in 1797. It is heralded as a fine example of a Georgian Northumbrian country house.

In July this year, a number of paintings, antiques and pieces of furniture from the house were sold via auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull.

The application to the county council is for listed building consent to demolish a pantry and make internal alterations to return the property to its original layout.