It’s game on to buy keeper’s cottage

Keeper's Cottage at Cusworth, which is set to be auctioned off.
Keeper's Cottage at Cusworth, which is set to be auctioned off.
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A tumbledown 18th century cottage in the shadow of a stately home near Doncaster is expected to attract huge interest when it goes under the hammer at a property auction tomorrow.

Interest in the former gamekeeper’s cottage on the Cusworth Hall estate has been so great it could sell for much more than the guide price of over £250,000.

But whoever buys Keepers Cottage, which stands on Orchard Lane next to Cusworth Lake, will probably need to spend up to a further £100,000 restoring it to a habitable condition.

It was last occupied by an elderly gentleman who lived a reclusive lifestyle before his death in a nursing home on New Year’s Eve, but in his last years modern conveniences and maintenance were not his top priority.

There is no gas supply to the three-bedroom cottage and it will need re-wiring, said estate agent Rob Anderson, director of The Property Shop.

“Much of the roof covering has gone and there are some interesting cracks in the walls and some of the outbuildings are unsafe,” he added.

“But it is a unique restoration project with an idyllic lake-side setting, with a decent amount of land, stables and old pig pens.

“There has been loads of interest because so many people have visited Cusworth Park and walked past it over the years and admired its location.

“It is not a listed building so it gives people some leeway to do it up. It’s a lot of work to take on, but I have not come across a property so unique for a long time.”

The windows of the cottage have been boarded up for some time and the majority of the contents have already been removed.

The setting of the cottage is so attractive it has been captured by professional photographer Ian Barber whose image of it has been reproduced for sale on international art websites as posters, canvases, greeting cards and even iPhone covers.

Keepers Cottage occupies an idyllic position overlooking the lower lake and formal grounds of Cusworth Hall.

A bidding frenzy is anticipated when it is sold at a public auction tomorrow afternoon by Mark Jenkinson & Son at the Platinum Suite, Sheffield United Football Club, Bramall Lane, Sheffield.