A FORMER Somerset home of poet William Wordsworth has been sold for around £2,000,000 - to a Buddhist charity.

The Grade II listed former Alfoxton Park Hotel estate, in Holford in the Quantocks, has been sold to the Alfoxton Park Trust.

Built in the 18th Century out of rendered rubble stone, the building is set in around 51 acres of gardens and deer park, with 13,500 square foot of interior space spread out over four floors, 17 bedrooms, and is complete with outbuildings, courtyard, and a walled garden.

Now, Buddhist charity the Alfoxton Park Trust intends to sympathetically renovate the buildings and use them as a Buddhist retreat centre, focusing especially on a mixture of longer meditation retreats, arts events and land-based working retreats.

Charity trustee, Lokabandhu, said: "We are delighted to have been entrusted with the guardianship of this beautiful and historic building.

"We are very aware of its importance and place in Britain's literary heritage and fully intend to honour that going forwards.

"Once the building has been restored to at least something of its former glory, we'd love to welcome poets, pilgrims and lovers of nature - many of whom already pass by as they walk the Coleridge Way, which runs right past our back door."

As well as being home to Wordsworth - and the scene of the first reading of his friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' - the estate housed American troops during World War II, and Wellington House School in Kent relocated to the main house during the conflict.

Somerset County Gazette:

Inside Alfoxton Park

The original house, The Manor of Alfoxton, mentioned in the Domesday book, was unfortunately destroyed in a fire but was rebuilt on the same site in 1710.

It was most recently used as a country hotel, however planning permission was granted for conversion to a grand stately home, though this has now lapsed.

READ MORE: Alfoxton Park Hotel sold

Stephen Champion, director at Christie & Co, comments, “Alfoxton stood empty for a number of years and unfortunately suffered as a result.

"We are delighted to see the building saved by its new owners, the Alfoxton Park Trust, who plan to restore the property and run it as a Buddhist retreat centre.

"It is reassuring to see continued confidence in south west tourism businesses, despite the economic impact of Covid-19 on the sector.”

Somerset County Gazette:

Inside the historic building