Lucky Ruth Bartlett is the happiest tenant in Britain after moving into this palatial 2,000 acre country estate – for just £50 a week in rent.
Translator Ruth, 33, has swapped her one-bedroom flat to live as a ‘guardian’ in the £13.5 million Brauncewell Estate while it lays empty awaiting a new buyer.
The impressive Georgian farmhouse comes with nearly 2,000 acres of land, outbuildings, a Grade Two listed church and a gamekeeper.
There is even a medieval village which was listed in the 1086 Doomsday survey, a historic family graveyard and a ghost of an old servant who wanders the halls at night.
Ruth, a freelance translator, is appreciating the 4,300 sq ft two-storey manor after moving from a 320 sq ft one-bedroom flat on a main road.
She is now looking for housemates to join her in the spacious 15-room manor close to Sleaford, Lincs., for just £200 a month including bills.
Guardians are expected to live in the property full time with just one catch – they can be evicted with just two weeks notice if the owners want their home back.
Ruth said: ”The grounds are amazing. I wake up and look out my window onto the grounds, full of ancient trees.
”It has been completely modernised inside but there are still the original wooden doors and windows and the decorative mouldings around the ceilings.
”I think there must be about 15 rooms in total, including four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two living rooms, drawing room, pantry.
”It is incredible to be living on a property where there is a game keeper and a shooting syndicate visits.
”There is even an old church in the grounds, and the property lies on the site of an old medieval town. I love living somewhere which has so much history.
”I have been told that there is a ghost, an old servant whose footsteps have been seen walking towards the servants’ staircase.”
After eight years living in Paris, Ruth decided to move to Lincolnshire to be near her parents and set up her own translation business, Traduction.
She added: ”The nearest village is four miles away but I don’t feel lonely because I see the game keeper everyday and I have two neighbours in the area.
”But after living in a city, hearing owls in the night took a bit of getting used to.
”This is certainly different from my one bedroom 30-square-metre flat. You never know how life will turn out.”
Steve Pursey, of property management firm Ad Hoc, said being a ‘property guardian’ suits people from all walks of life for between £225 per month to £310 per month in rent.
He said: ”Miss Bartlett is in the estate on her own at the moment, but we’re looking for more people to move in with her.
”All of our guardians are from different backgrounds, but we have quite a few artists and musicians who appreciate the space to create.
”We also have guardians who are doctors, nurses, bar staff, architects and even helicopter pilots.
”Guardians don’t have to sign up for a six-month contract like with a letting agency and the fee we charge covers utility bills and council tax.
”It’s an amazing opportunity to live in some spectacular buildings for such an affordable price.”
Owners often recruit guardians while they await planning applications or are ‘mothballing’ the building while they wait for better market prices.
The Brauncewell Estate is situated six miles north of Sleaford and 16 miles south of Lincoln.
It compromises of 1,960 acres of land, woodland, several period properties, farm buildings with planning permission, barns, and three stone cottages.
The estate also serves as an established family shoot, home to wild pheasant and partridge, and is let to a shooting syndicate until 1 February 2011.
Seventeenth-century Brauncewell manor, home to the Marques of Bristol in 1851, is an L-shaped building which sits on a deserted medieval village.