So you want to live... Samuel Pepys's house

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The Independent Online

You mean the great London diarist?

You mean the great London diarist?

Yes indeed, the very chap who brought us detailed accounts of life, love and the great fire of London in 1666. The house in question though, is not his former London residence, but the one in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

Quite well heeled was he?

He was quite well connected, having fingers in a few pies - including his role as Secretary to the Admiralty and President of the Royal Society.

What about the house?

It was his countryside retreat, left to him by his uncle and now administered (but not owned) by the Pepys House Trust, which also looks after an adjoining 12 acre field, which presumably you can stroll around in, but just not build on.

So what condition is it in?

The trust also maintains the property, so it's in pretty good nick, although what you're looking at is a jumble of several centuries of development. Starting with a 16th century timber core, there are also 17th century oak windows and beams, and various brick extensions that were added later. The property comprises four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dining-room, sitting-room, study and kitchen.

Great, so when can I move in?

Ah, well here's the catch - and it's a pretty big one. The current owner (a well known earl) has an existing tenancy agreement that will keep the property occupied until 2028. So this ain't no whim purchase. Look at it as an investment, but hurry as there is already much interest from America...

How much?

Well the Earl has taken in to account the slight timing issue, so the property is for sale at the knock-down price of £199,500 (Pavilions of Splendour, 01962 869 123, www.heritage.co.uk/apavilions/fr01.html).

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