ONE of Bromsgrove’s most historic buildings, dating back to the 18th century and once used as a school, has been put up for sale.
Finstall Park, once known as Finstall House, was built in 1770 for the Brettell family and became one of the largest estates in the area.
Last weekend more than 100 interested parties viewed the house, off Walnut Lane in Finstall, which features an entrance porch, an inner hall, family room, drawing room, five bedrooms and outbuildings in extensive gardens, on a site of more than seven acres.
The building is steeped in history. There was a blaze at the building in 1866, with flames seen miles away. A human chain of buckets was formed to fight the fire.
A notable owner of Finstall Park was John Boultbee Brooks, a breeder of shire horses who used the many stables on the estate.
His family founded the Brooks Bicycle Saddle Company, which would later become part of Raleigh, and today is the Brooks England brand.
After the estate was sold to Brazier the builders in 1924, Finstall Park became a boys preparatory school.
During the First World War, the mansion’s search light would illuminate the sky, to warn of air raids.
In the 1940s the school became Ardenvale, a private boarding and day school.
Following Finstall Park’s sale in 1952, the land was divided up and the house was bought by Robert Louis “Lou” Thomas and his wife Jessica, the owners of the Dragoon Hotel, now the Ladybird Inn, in Aston Fields.
The pair continued to live there until the death of Lou last spring.
Julia Smith, from estate agents Andrew Grant, said offers had been received above its guide price of £650,000.
She said: “It has fantastic, amazing history which people were fascinated by at the viewing.
“The owners’ hope the new owners will restore their much-loved home and gardens and restore it back to the magnificent mansion it once was.”