Witanhurst is the name of a historical Georgian-style mansion located on an 5 acre estate in the village of Highgate, North London.
It is the second-largest house in London in private ownership, the largest being Buckingham Palace.
Designed by architect George Hubbard for soap magnate Sir Arthur Crosfield on an 11 acre site, dating from 1774 which included a house called Parkfield built in the 19th century, the mansion is currently Grade-II listed, meaning it has been judged to be of national historical or architectural interest.
It was built between 1913 and 1920. It is also recognised by English Heritage as ‘a building at risk’.
It has 65 rooms spread across three floors, including 25 bedrooms. One of the largest is the 40,000 sq ft Grand Ballroom, measuring 70 feet long with a height of 20 feet. It has an oak flooring and the timber wall panels are done in walnut, with carved cornices embellished with gold leaf.
Other rooms are the Drawing Room, Study, Entrance Hall and staircase, and most of the bedrooms, are all in an opulent Classically detailed style. Other richly decorated rooms include the Dining Room, Chinese Room, Billiard Room, and the Gallery hallway. Access to the house is via a three-fingered gatehouse.
A significant large part of the mansion still have the original architectural details that withstood time, but most of them are now in a state of deterioration. Despite its condition, the mansion has been used several times as filming location by the BBC for shooting drama documentaries, such “The Lost Prince” and “Tipping the Velvet”. Most recently the estate was one of the primary production venues for the Fame Academy series.
The mansion has not been regularly occupied for some years and no attempts have been made to preserve the estate. The local council have announced that they will be requiring the owners to take steps to stop the deterioration. The house and estate are currently up for sale at an asking price of £32m ($51.5).