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'Withnail and I' & a Lonely fellside setting?

The remote Cumbrian farmhouse - made famous in the cult 1986 film Withnail & I -was sold at auctionFeb 16 2009 by United Utilities.Sleddale Hall

He said he wanted to restore the ramshackle building for fans to visit and to boost tourism in the Eastern Fells area of the Lake District. The cottage, dating back to 1802, does not have planning permission for residential use.

But Mr Hindley revealed he wanted to restore it for fans to visit and create a reception area with a "roaring fire".

Sleddale Hall, which has been unoccupied for many years, sits on the north side of Wet Sleddale valley and is accessible only via a dirt track. It is almost two miles from the nearest public road and a mile from the nearest inhabited house.

It has long been an interest for fans of the film Withnail & I, starring Richard E Grant and Paul McGann. The film tells the story of two out of work actors in the 1960s who venture to the Lakes to escape London only to find themselves hilariously ill-equipped for the bleak conditions they encounter.

As "Uncle Monty's cottage", Sleddale Hall was used for many exterior shots but the interior was little used for filming. It contains many original features and the structure has been recently stabilised and the roof repaired to keep it wind and water-tight.

Built from stone and Lake District slate, Sleddale Hall and its associated outbuildings form a picturesque quadrangle and were probably built in the mid 18th century. It was originally acquired by the Manchester Corporation in the 1920s as part of the land required to meet Manchester's growing need for drinking water. The Manchester Corporation eventually became part of North West Water and then United Utilities.

United Utilities senior land agent on its Thirlmere Estate, Edward Holt said: "Sleddale Hall is in one of the quietest parts of the Lake District. I hope it is bought by someone who can restore it. It would make a lovely family home."

According to Wikipedia: United Utilities then sold Sleddale Hall to Tim Ellis, an architect from Canterbury in Kent, whose bid at the auction had originally failed. He plans to convert Sleddale Hall into a private home, retaining a “Withnail atmosphere”. Ellis specialises in the restoration of historic buildings and said "I am delighted to have had a second chance to buy this beautiful building. I first saw the film about seven years ago and have been a fan ever since. I would like to restore the building in a way that other fans of the film could approve of.[
The film was only made possible thanks to funding from Beatle George Harrison....The film was shot entirely on location. There was little filming in the real Penrith, the locations used were actually in and around nearby Shap and Bampton. Monty's cottage, "Crow Crag", is actually Sleddale Hall, located near the Wet Sleddale Reservoir just outside Shap.






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