For sale: a perfect piece of country life

Alton Manor Auction.
Alton Manor Auction.

A ‘TREASURE trove’ auction is attracting visitors from across the globe bidding to buy a piece of aristocratic country living.

Alton Manor in Idridgehay – home of the late Lady Winifred Hilton, widow of Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire Colonel Sir Peter Hilton – is to be auctioned at a guide price of £1m on Thursday.

But those unable to purchase the Grade II listed property, set in 26 acres of country estate, can still take home a slice of history as the estate’s complete furniture, decoration and effects are also going under the hammer.

“People have arrived in helicopters to view the sale, from the states, Japan, Spain, Italy, Portugal...and that’s just the ones I know about,” said celebrity expert James Lewis, a director of Bamfords Auctioneers which is overseeing the contents sale.

“Lady Hilton was such an important Derbyshire character and I think many people are coming because they have a connection with her.

“It’s a sale for everybody and the reason we’ve done it here is so anybody can turn up whether you want to spend £5 or £5,000.”

More than 1,000 people attended a Sunday viewing at Alton Manor, which has been visited by several royal figures, including the Queen in 1992.

See this week’s Derbyshire Times for more on this story and fascinating facts from the auction.