Poundland founders slash asking price for their gaudy Shropshire mansion by 39%
As with many classic rags to riches tale, good taste doesn’t necessarily follow. Proof of such is provided in the somewhat over-the-top home bought by two of the founders of discount chainstore Poundland in the wake of their sale of that business for £50 million in 2002.
Steve and Tracy Smith built up Poundland from a market stall in the West Midlands to an empire employing 6,000 staff and with their fortune, they indulged in a Lamborghini – of which Mrs Smith later remarked: “That car! It used to drive me mad, that big silly thing sitting out there. I was always on at him to get rid of it. In the end, he sold it for less than he paid for it… I think he just wanted to shut me up. – and amongst other things purchased a Shropshire mansion originally designed by the acclaimed Portmeirion architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, CBE MC (1883 – 1973).
Standing on a plot of 28.23 acres and featuring 14,690 square foot in its main house, “deluxe” Hammer Hill House currently provides 5 reception rooms, a full-scale bar, 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and an indoor swimming pool. In addition, there are two 3-bedroom gate lodges and a large garage and office block.
Decorated in a style that plainly reflects Mr and Mrs Smith’s exuberant personalities, there are, naturally, oversized wrought iron gates at the entrance and immodesty continues within. There is a BOSE surround system, an Adapt control system operating doors and specialist lighting and 60 “blinging horror” crystal chandeliers. A ‘HHH’ (meaning: “Hammer Hill House”) logo is emblazoned on many details and a Smith family crest hangs on the stairs; there’s a sprung dance floor and a full-size snooker table and a helipad and a 5-foot tall dancing hippo.
Previously marketed privately, as Mr Smith believed estate agents to be a waste of money, Hammer Hill House is now for sale for £3.95 million through Knight Frank. Of the estate, though Country Life magazine concluded: “It might be a bit ritzy for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge”, the selling agents remark: “It’s impressive and well equipped”.
Hammer Hill House, Romsley, Bridgnorth, Shropshire – The numbers
Steve and Tracy Smith sell their shares in Poundland for £50 million in 2002 (the equivalent of £74.6 million, $94.8 million, €84.7 million or درهم348.4 million today). They give half of that sum to Mr Smith’s parents.
The couple then paid £2.2 million for Hammer Hill House in 2004 (the equivalent of £3.3 million, $4.2 million, €3.7 million or درهم15.3 million today) and spent vast sums expanding and personalising the property.
They put the estate up for sale for £6.5 million in 2014 privately ($8.3 million, €7.4 million or درهم30.6 million).
In June 2017, they relist the property for £3.95 million ($5 million, €4.5 million or درهم18.4 million) with agents Knight Frank.