Shropshire's Hawkstone Park Follies up for sale at £6 million
Shropshire's world-famous Hawkstone Park Follies have been put up for sale for £6 million.
The attraction, dubbed the world's oldest theme park, have been put on the market along with the Hawkstone Park Hotel and Golf Club.
The combined sale represents one of Shropshire's best-known hotels and tourist attractions.
The £6 million price tag will buy the world-renowned attraction, which attracts 30,000 visitors a year.
It will also include the hotel, two 18-hole championship-standard golf courses and a six-hole academy golf course.
Opened in 1748, the Follies are made up of a man-made network of caves, cliffs and grottos.
The obelisk is now grade I listed – making it a building of "exceptional interest" and placing it among only two per cent of all listed buildings to be ranked in that category.
More recently, the follies have been used to represent Narnia in a 1988 adaptation of CS Lewis's classic novel The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.
Gavin Wright, director at Christie and Co's Birmingham office who is handling the sale, said he believes an opportunity exists to further enhance Hawkstone Park's profile.
He believes it could be enhanced as a leisure resort, attracting thousands more visitors through the development of a new spa and leisure facility.
Mr Wright said: "Hawkstone Park has a number of outbuildings and houses within its grounds.
"This offers potential buyers a range of development, sale or asset management opportunities to further enhance the business, such as the development of a new spa facility.
"This property presents an opportunity to become part of a hotel group or private ownership and build on its long standing reputation as a leading golf hotel.
"At the Follies you have cliffs, crags and caves, steep woods and monuments built more than 200 years ago. It's a very interesting place."
The estate went onto the market last night as its current owner, the Principal Hayley hotel group, looks to trim its estate, with interest expected to come from both groups and private individuals.
As well as the Follies, which generate revenue of around £300,000 a year and which were named Shropshire's best tourist attraction in 2013, the hotel represents an important part of Shropshire's tourist industry.
Based at Weston, between Shrewsbury and Whitchurch, it has 66 rooms open to the public.
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