Historic Battersea mansion for sale for the same sum it was marketed for in 2011; it has been mostly empty throughout the intervening period and was renovated by the late billionaire Malcolm Forbes
Billionaire publisher Malcolm Forbes was a man who liked to live large. He had a huge yacht named The Highlander, threw lavish parties across the globe and counted Gianni Agnelli, Gordon Getty, Calvin Klein, Robert Maxwell, Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump as friends. This “mysterious collector” also owned numerous residences and one of these, Old Battersea House in London, is for sale for the same sum as it was marketed for in 2011.
Often seen with Elizabeth Taylor at his side and described as “living life in the fabulous”, Forbes purchased Old Battersea House in 1971. It had previously been home to and saved from demolition by Battersea Council by the eccentric author and ghost hunter Wilhemina Stirling. She took up a lifetime tenancy on the building in 1931 and used it to house artworks by her sister, Evelyn de Morgan (1855 – 1919).
Grade II* listed since 1954 and adapted during Forbes and subsequently his son Kip’s ownership to showcase a vast collection of Victorian art and antiques, Old Battersea House was built on Tudor foundations in 1699 and was at first known as ‘Terrace House’. It originally had gardens extending down to the River Thames and is rumoured to have been designed by Sir Christopher Wren (1632 – 1723).
Featuring “handsome classical proportions throughout” and standing within a 110-foot wide walled garden, the 10,100 square foot house includes 4 reception rooms, 10 double bedrooms and 7 bathrooms. It has off-street parking and a garden store but it is sadly overlooked by the adjoining housing estate that was built in its grounds in the 1930s.