Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday Tidbit: Updown Court

Your Mama somehow missed all the many mid-October (2011) reports–we blame the lapse on gin and nerve pills–that revealed the opulent monster mansion in the U.K. known as Updown Court was sold–Sold!–for £35,000,000 to an as yet unidentified "foreign businessman."

Thirty five million pounds–$56,202,300 at today's rates according to our currency conversion contraption–is by any and all standards a serious and significant amount of money to cough up for a private residence. It is none-the-less, chick-a-doodles, nowhere near the hefty (and approximately) $145,000,000 at which the 50,000-plus square foot pile was first listed six or so years ago.

The gilt-trimmed 58-acre Updown Court estate was developed by a gentleman named Leslie Allen-Vercoe who may (or may not) have spent as much as £50,000,000 purchasing the land and constructing the massively monolithic but–in our humble and meaningless opinion–architecturally challenged mega-mansion that boasts such extravaganzas as a triple-height entrance hall that has more in common size-wise with a mid-sized suburban shopping mall than a private home.

Sometime in 2005 the property was listed with an asking price of about $145,000,000, making it the highest-priced house on the market in the U.K. In June 2011 the property was re-listed with an asking price of £75,000,000, a figure that then converted to just over $123,000,000. The new price was twenty million clams lower than the original price but still well more than twice what the "foreign businessman" buyer reportedly paid for it.

As have many property developers who had a lot of money on the line, Mister Allen-Vercoe ran into some financial troubles set off by the global real estate slump triggered in large part by the 2007 sub-prime mortgage meltdown in the United States. Unable to make his meet his mortgage obligations the hotel-sized house fell into the hungry jaws of foreclosure and was seized by the Irish government earlier this year.

The Irish government apparently didn't have any need for the 40-plus room white elephant in the upscale rural London suburb of Surrey and quickly heaved it back on the market.
The scale and scope of the four-floor house flabbergasts and nearly defies imagination. Floor plans included with marketing materials for Updown Court show it was built with such necessities and conveniences as a marble driveway, a dozen or more fireplaces, two-lane bowling alley, indoor squash court, home theater, panic room, underground parking for at least seven cars, and a house-sized master suite with glass elevator that connects to a private indoor swimming pool and spa. The massive mansion and estate has four more swimming pools including a negative edge number on a fourth floor terrace shared by two titanic guest apartments that each comprise 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.

Note: The above is just a teaser. Your Mama suggests y'all steel your nerves with some liquor before you click through but any of the children who have yet to peep or would like to revisit Updown Court's floor plan full monte can view them here.

listing photo: Updown Court
floor plan: Savills


Anonymous said...

Lordy Mercies darlins this big new pile has gone and sold! When the banks and bankrupcies came a calling I figured there was a sucker out there with awful taste and new monies who would purchase this architectural nightmare. Lordy it is vulgar as Kim K on church on Sunday singing on a choir wiggling her arse, as vulgar as Paris Hilton preaching from the good bible on Sunday morning with her knickers on display.. it is vulgar as a nouveau riche Scholz mansion trying to be old money and old school when it is as flagrant Christian Audigier and his threads!

I read from my crystal ball some options.

1. New Owner will decorate the "manor" in a hideous display of fragrant design that will incorporate the less than tasteful finishings and will be the eye sore of all eye sores that will take much gin to even comprehend.
2. I see a new owner who got a "steal" and plans a multi million redo... gutting the interiors... raised spas.. and doing a classical interior complete with vines and charm on the exterior turning this eye sore into something that is delightful, tasteful, and doesn't make all who see the pile burst into tears like Lindsay Lohan in the courthouse!


StPaulSnowman said...

Let me see...........Updown Court or Candy's Manor? This is the US Open of bad taste. Now, if the foreign buyer would just move it to Las Vegas, the natural order would be restored. Oh Yester House....restore my soul!

Anonymous said...

The rot had started decades ago, at least as far back as Reagan, or so the inspector said with a slight but sinister smile, but the malicious decay was only now crawling up into
every single crevice of the house,behind every single peg and groove of wood lay a termite, behind every lighting fixture was a spider's egg, behind every expensive Morrocan kiln-fired and glazed tile was murderous green slime oozing it's way out with a kind of elegant finesse that only a Russian chess master could envy.

Or maybe it was all in his mind. Either way, he knew that for reasons at this moment he could not justify or understand, he had purchased a pistol and a box of ammo, something he could not fathom for the life of him.

He'd always splurged on classic 1930's cocktail books and French imported candies.

He had no criminal record. His wife had left him. The house payments could no longer be made.

He also bought creamy expensive paper and a Mont Blanc pen...to write "some sort of note"...but to
whom...and why?

angie said...

It's sad to think that the money spent on this place could have built just about any home the imagination can conjure, and this is the unfortunate architecture that was chosen. I would sooo take Candy Spelling's home in a heartbeat over this, and that's saying something.

Anonymous said...

Upsidedown Court is so odd. It is obviously so vulgar and trashy. I could find better real estate and design for that reduced price. Doesn't the pool look like it's half filled with water (the tile didn't know when to stop)? Don't the plans look sort of wonky? Infinity pool above the main reception hall? Your Mama was right - you can never understand the reasoning of the rich and their real estate. And she don't try...she just reveals with wit.

FrenchGirl said...

it's just too tiny for me and my cat LOL
the person who bought his house isn't in the same world than us or me

Anonymous said...

Had he gone mad? Did he have a mistress on Doheny Drive who was thirty-two years younger with a birthmark in the center of her left buttock in the shape of the
Isle of Capri? Was she the bitch who had taken it all, who spoke of the acquirement of homes as if it were the plastic pink beads and toxic candied gee-gaws she so idly collected and fingered on her pale thin scarred wrists with seemingly innocent yet caculated abandon?

Or was it the Southwestern spiders and tiramisu termites and larvae and Hungarian beetles seething out from the splintered gaps in the expensive Flaviniana mahagony mantelpiece and pointing at him, snickering with the laughs of Asian schoolgirls, as the now forty foot tall silverfish with a monocle and clipped British accent drinking a mojito said "yes, you sold the rights to Micheal Bay to buy this, you sad, sad man....now pick up the gun and know that you are a child of the universe and that you had a right to be here, but your weak and have squandered that particular cosmic conceit and now must immediately off yourself to decrease the surplus population....."

He was certainly confused, if just for a moment.

emeraldcity said...

Love your blog Mama but ....Surrey is most definitely not 'an upscale rural London suburb', that's a bit like saying Connecticut is a suburb of New York City. Surrey is not even a city, it's a county.

Anonymous said...

How hideous. I hated it then, I hate it now. Your Mama needs to publish a blog entry on an equally hideous Palais des Anges in Los Angeles, which got sold recently. And also - who are the architects who design these monstrosities? We need a blog post guide on the best and worst celebrity (and for celebrities) architects of today!

Anonymous said...

Heavens above, someone actually bought this monstrosity? I had visions of it falling into disrepair over the next few years, and eventually being taken over by an army of the dispossesed and homeless masses.

Its peculiar and ungainly architecture, more suited to Las Vegas than suburban Surrey, is due to the American architect, but the lamentable decorative finishes are entirely the work of Mr Allen-Vercoe. Lets hope this misadventure into property developing has put him off attempting anything similar in the future.

midTN said...


Get out the gallons of smelling salts.

The Real Estalker "occupiers" are really going to go nuts with this one!

lil' gay boy said...

I cannot help thinking about the poor souls who actually constructed this monstrosity. Even the laziest, most jaded or disillusioned construction worker must, at least once in their lifetime, possess a silver of the soul of the craftsman, and want to take even a superficial pride in their work. Not to mention those who truly are craftsmen.

Those poor bastards; looking at this makes me realize what it must mean to be sentenced to work on a prison farm...

Anonymous said...

This house was used on the Showtime show called Episodes. It was the perfect fill-in for a nouveau riche LA mansion.

Anonymous said...

The truest definition of a white elephant if there was one.

What a horrid house and I would not take it even for free. This is a home destined to bankrupt even the richest person.

Amazing to see that the most awful homes in America and London were both able to be sold this year although Candy Spelling's home is still way worse than this house.

Anonymous said...

WHAT? I find the Spelling Manor repulsive. However, it is not worse that this POS. Whoever said that above is smoking crack.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what's more distasteful: This house or the people commenting that are trying to mimic Mama's writing style. Stop it and write in your own voice.

Anonymous said...

7:14, while this is indeed horrid, it is a far nicer home than Candy Spelling's home with far nicer materials and accoutrements. Candy's house is cheaply built with cheap materials with big rooms just for the sake of having them. Very unimpressive.

The Spelling home is just a McMansion on steroids and HGH. Updown actually has quality and cachet and manicured grounds with extensive landscaping and so on. If you can't tell the difference between these two homes then perhaps you are the one on crack.

Calgary Realtors said...

Holy crap. Unbelievable. I too would like to know what area of Surrey this is in - my family is from there, and I can't imagine where this is located. Clearly in the 'upscale' area I have never seen.

angie said...

8:00 AM, how do you know that the materials used in the Spelling home are cheap and that it's cheaply built? I seriously doubt that. Regardless, the main problem most have with Updown Court is the design. It looks like it was modeled after a multi tier wedding cake. It's pure confection, not architectural design, and the interiors can only be accurately described as "garish" to quote Mama. You just can't make a reasonable case for it's appeal over the Spelling home by most people's perception (NOT that either home is actually appealing).

Anonymous said...

8:00 - Leave judgements to the professionals. It's more about context. Upsidedown Court looks even more ridiculous in a country with a bit more authenticity. Candyland is right at home in LA. Don't you get the difference? You sound like you are saying Eurodisney is better than Disneyland...now quit smoking with whitney and bobby brown.