When Conor Gallagher discovered his Elizabethan manor house had a collapsed secret tunnel leading to the Chequers estate, he wrote to No. 10 to see if the PM would be interested in reopening it.
Being from Belfast, he wasn’t sure what response he would get. Mr Gallagher said: “I was expecting a knock on the door, but they didn’t even write back.”
So no weekend dinners with David Cameron in the pipeline. And there might not be too many more dinners for the Gallagher family at Wellwick House to come, as the 550-year-old Grade II listed property is up for sale.
Steeped in history and originally on the market for £2.25 million, two months on it is at a cut-price of just under £2 million. A bargain for a house of such grandeur on the edge of Wendover, some might say, although there are few people who might fall into that category in this financial climate. But estate agent Christopher Pallet assistant manager Keith Worger says it is still a unique opportunity for someone, even with the threat of HS2 being built nearby.
Mr Worger said: “There aren’t many houses in Buckinghamshire like this, they are very few and far between.
“I don’t think HS2 is going to be a major issue. Wellwick House is on the hill. The train, because it’s going to be lower down, we don’t think it’s going to be a major issue. But time will tell and we’ll have to wait.”
The house was originally built by the Brudenell family in the 1460s, with Georgian and Victorian additions made over the years.
Among the prominent figures who have lived there is the notorious Judge Jeffreys. During the 17th century he was given the nickname The Hanging Judge because of the harsh sentences he handed down. Fortunately, there were no ghosts of his victims to be seen when we visited Wellwick House.
The current owners, Theresa Gallagher and her husband, arrived in 2003 from London. They had wanted to get out of the city to have their first of two children.
But why leave such an idyllic location?
Rather than seeking to downsize or return to London,it is Mrs Gallagher’s creative side giving them itchy feet. She is an interior designer and having done all she can with Wellwick House, is looking for a new challenge. But the house will always hold fond memories for them.
Mr Gallagher said: “It’s just a stunning house. We instantly fell in love with it. My wife was trying to make an offer on the doorstep before we’d even got inside.”
The house stands in the grounds of about 1.68 acres and has panoramic views of Aylesbury Vale, particularly from the roof. Over four floors it has six bedrooms, four reception rooms and self-contained staff quarters.
5,000 sq ft
Basement, kitchen, staff quarters