By Michael Powell (Taken From www.Portsmouth.co.uk)
A spooky manor house believed to be one of Britain’s most haunted properties failed to sell at auction yesterday.
Wymering Manor has been put up for sale by Portsmouth City Council.
It went under the hammer at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London.
But bidders failed to reach the £400,000 reserve the city council put on the property.
Auctioneer Jeremy Lamb, of Andrews & Robertson, said: ‘It hasn’t sold under the hammer.
‘We had some bids but they didn’t meet the reserve. Around £400,000 was what they were looking for.’
The city council says it will now attempt to sell the property privately.
The Grade II* listed manor is thought to be the oldest house in Portsmouth and is mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book.
It has been used as a vicarage, monastery and home and its current structure dates back to the late 16th century.
Prospective buyers would need to spend at least £150,000 to restore the dilapidated property to its former glory after decades of neglect.
The building has seen much-documented spooky activity. Paranormal investigators claim to have sensed the presence of between 20 to 30 spirits in the home, including those of children laughing and whispering. Burly security guards have even refused to work alone at night there.
Portsmouth City Council first tried to sell the property in 2006 but could not find a buyer.
This saw the formation of Friends of Old Wymering – a campaign group that wants the manor to be renovated and brought back into use.
The group’s chairwoman Janet Hird said: ‘It’s a shame it didn’t sell. This increases the uncertainty about what’s going to happen with Wymering Manor. We were hoping a new owner would come in and we could discuss their plans for the building with them.
‘I think it’s obvious the council will continue to try and sell Wymering Manor – it costs them a lot of money every month and it’s probably cost them quite a lot to put it up for auction.
‘It’s disappointing for the council and for everyone in Portsmouth that this building hasn’t sold.’
Principal valuer at Portsmouth City Council, Jeff Hutchins, said: ‘Wymering Manor was not sold at auction as its reserve price was not met. We still hope to sell the property and will now speak to the underbidder and a number of other interested parties.’