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Now You, Too, Can Be an English Lord

All it takes is $3M; plus you get a mountain
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2014 4:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – In a story that’s more complicated than figuring out the rightful heir to Downton Abbey, a mountain in the English countryside is for sale for $3 million—and the buyer will get the title “Lord of the Manor of Threlkeld” to boot, reports the New York Times. A mystery bidder is the top contender so far for the Lowther family’s highfalutin hump, once described by a guidebook author as “one of the grandest objects in Lakeland” and “a mountaineer’s mountain”—which is interesting, since there’s a local mountaineering group trying to wrest the 2,848-foot mountain away from that bidder so the nature-loving people of England can enjoy it.

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Of course, a true English estate doesn’t come without tales of family infighting and scandal. When James Hugh William Lowther, the seventh Earl of Lonsdale, died in 2006, his estranged truck-driver son contested the will, claiming in court docs that his father never approved of him marrying the daughter of a railroad crossing guard and was peeved that his son had once reported him to the cops for “persistent sexual abuse,” the Times reveals. Although a settlement was reached in 2009 between the family and the eighth earl—who calls himself “a protector of the Estate and a guardian for its future” on his website—he reportedly owes $15 million in inheritance taxes, so he had to put the mountain up for sale. Click for the full story. (Read more English mountain stories.)

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