a Camberwell carrot

Posted on January 19, 2009
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from The Guardian

The estate agent spec only tells half the story, describing Sleddale Hall as a “a remote Cumbrian farmhouse, built from stone and Lake District slate” and suggesting a guide price of around £145,000. For fans of the 1986 film Withnail & I, however, Sleddale Hall will always be “Uncle Monty’s cottage”, the clammy refuge for a pair of resting London actors – and is therefore priceless.  Sleddale Hall, the country retreat made famous in Bruce Robinson’s comedy, goes under the hammer at the Berkeley Hotel in London on 16 February 2009, after its owners – the water company United Utilities – announced it was selling the property. The building sits outside the Cumbrian village of Shap and has reportedly been derelict for several decades. For good measure, the real estate agent, Savills, adds that Sleddale Hall sits two miles from the nearest public road. The next inhabited home is more than a mile away. Loosely based on Robinson’s own experiences, Withnail & I sends a pair of dissolute out-of-work actors (Richard E Grant and Paul McGann) to a Cumbrian cottage owned by the predatory Uncle Monty. Once there, the pair fall foul of the locals and struggle to adapt to their new way of life. “We’ve gone on holiday by mistake,” explains Withnail at one stage.


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