Mentmore Towers, the sprawling English manor house that replaced Wayne Manor in 2005 Batman begins, is in a state of disrepair and neglect, as documented by a short video from “Deserted Places,” an Instagram account dedicated to finding abandoned, neglected spaces and documenting them. Commentators suggest the building isn’t really abandoned in the strictest sense – you can legally visit it as a ‘museum’, which discourages theft or vandalism – but a quick internet search shows they’re confusing Mentmore with Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, which Wayne Manor was in The dark knight rises. Mentmore Towers, built decades after Wollaton, borrowed significantly from the building’s design, making them virtually identical from the outside. Wollaton is in much better condition and is home to the Nottingham Natural History Museum.
That said, Mentmore hasn’t completely abandoned either. It has a working golf course, and weddings offered at its associated country club provide opportunities for outdoor photo shoots that capture the distant beauty of the towers. Up close, however, Mentmore is classified as high risk, with damage to the roof and chimneys requiring millions of pounds to repair.
Deserted Places uses video from a 2021 Tiktok from another city explorer, Places_Forgotten, in their video. According to numerous online sources, the mansion was worth £31 million when it was last on the market.
You can see the short video below.
Real estate developer Simon Halabi bought Mentmore in 1999, planning to turn it into a luxury hotel. He faced legal challenges from locals who alleged that Halabi had improperly managed to get regulatory approval to move forward with the project. The courts issued an injunction to the local population in 2004, stopping the project from proceeding. In 2005, UK courts ruled that Halabi’s planning permission was legally sound, but the project still failed to get off the ground.
In 2009, the collapse of the housing market had had a significant impact on Halabi’s business. A more conservative plan was hatched to renovate and restore Mentmore without all the additional development a luxury hotel would have required, but even that plan stalled and the building has been gathering dust ever since.
Historic England has assessed Mentmore’s condition as poor, saying its interior is at high risk, jeopardizing its architectural and cultural value due to “immediate risk of further rapid deterioration or loss of substance”.
This is how they described it in November 2022:
Country house built 1852-4 by Sir Joseph Paxton and GH Stokes for Baron Mayer Amschel de Rothschild. In 2014, an application was submitted for a building permit and a planning permit for external and internal renovations, including repairs. The repair program indicated in the permits has not been carried out and there is a long-term lack of regular maintenance. The roof of the service wing is in very poor condition and the deterioration of the main building is accelerating with water intrusion into the main concourse and adjoining reception areas.
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