A 40-room Yorkshire mansion that was left abandoned for 27 years has been purchased by a local businessman who plans to restore it to a luxury family home once again.
For more than a quarter of a century Pineheath House, which also boasts 12 bathrooms and extensive grounds, was left almost entirely untouched following the death of its owners Sir Dhunjibhoy and Lady Bomanji – a well-known Indian-born couple who were prominent in aristocratic circles at the start of the 20th Century.
Pineheath was the couple’s autumnal residence - they would spend summers at their house in Windsor and winter and spring at a third home in India – but it became a relic of the past when Lady Bomanji died in 1986 – almost 50 years after her husband.
The property, near Harrogate in North Yorkshire, has been left virtually untouched ever since, making it a kind of time-capsule full of the aristocratic trappings of a different era.
Many of the rooms are still decorated in a 1920s style, and come complete with newspaper cuttings and invitations to society events from the 1970s.
While the house still contains many of its valuable antiques and ornaments, it is the mundane, everyday objects that now capture the imagination.
After the death of Lady Bomanji, Pineheath passed into the ownership of her daughter Mehroo Jehangir, who died in 2012.
Sir Dhunjibhoy Bomanji was knighted in 1922 after using his enormous wealth to support Britain’s fight against Germany during the First World War.
A close friend of Field Marshall Douglas Haig, he spent the rest of his life as a philanthropist, giving generously to charities supporting army veterans and war widows.