Land of historic Birch Vale home listed for auction again after legal issues resolved

22 acres of land with a storied past in Birch Vale is coming up for auction again next month, after legal complications prevented a sale earlier this year.

By Ed Dingwall
Friday, 5th November 2021, 7:07 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 7:16 pm

The area which surrounds the historic ruins of Birch Vale house will go under the hammer with Connect UK Auctions on Tuesday, December 14, with a guide price of £350,000.

That is £100,000 less, and four acres smaller, than the original listing in June and while the auction house would not go into detail they did explain why it was pulled from their catalogue for that month.

A spokesperson said: “A historic covenant has now been removed which was in place to preserve the land and what’s left of Birch Vale House as well as to prevent residential development.

The site is bordered by homes and open farmland.

“This covenant has now expired after being in place for 100 years and is the reason it was withdrawn and re put back into auction.”

They added: “The site later included overage rights which would provide the vendor with 20 per cent of the uplift in value should development commence in the future. All restrictions have now been removed by solicitors and the land is to be sold with a clean title.

“It is being sold complete with direct road access, footings to the former house, a mobile caravan, stable block, main industrial building, warehouse and various out buildings. This grand land site boasts enormous opportunity for its new owner.”

The site, off Sycamore Road and Spinnerbottom, once belonged to the family of cotton manufacturers John Bennett & Co, owners of the Birch Vale printworks in the 19th century.

In return for the establishment of a soup kitchen, the printworkers built the grand Birch Vale House for their masters, complete with enormous sash windows, extravagant drawing rooms, gold leaf cornices, underfloor heating, servants quarters, a heated greenhouse full of grapes and bananas, and lawns which took 11 hours to cut.

It was later pulled down and the stone reused to build bungalows on a hill opposite the Sycamore Inn. Following the deconstruction, the land was later used as a knacker’s yard and furthermore, an abattoir.

For full details of the auction, go to

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together.” – Louise Cooper, editor.