Sale of Edward Heath's Salisbury home Arundells is blocked

Arundells More than 30,000 people have visited the home and grounds in Salisbury's Cathedral Close

Related Stories

The Charity Commission has ruled the Wiltshire home of former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath cannot be sold.

Arundells, in Salisbury, was left to the nation in 2005 and is run by the Edward Heath Charitable Foundation.

Although it attracts sellout tours, the trustees want to sell the property as they say they cannot afford to keep it open as a tourist attraction.

But the Charity Commission has ruled it cannot be sold as alternative funding options need to be explored first.

Sir Edward, who was prime minister from 1970 to 1974, lived at Arundells for the last 20 years of his life.

In 2008, three years after the Conservative MP's death, the house was opened to the public and since then more than 30,000 people have visited the property.

Last year, the historic house in Cathedral Close attracted more than 13,000 visitors.

Despite those numbers, the trustees claim the cost of running the house as a visitor attraction is too high and say the property and all its contents should be sold off.

'Wonderful news'

In 2010, they applied to the Charity Commission for permission to sell the site and use the proceeds for other charitable purposes specified in Sir Edward's will.

But the commission has now refused the application.

Tony Burnside, co-ordinator of the Friends of Arundells group, has been campaigning to keep the house open to the public.

He said: "We're delighted, this is wonderful news.

"It's very important for businesses and tourism in the area because this house has the potential to attract a lot of people."

The trustees have told the BBC that they are disappointed with the decision but have declined to comment further.

More on This Story

Related Stories

BBC Wiltshire

Weather

Swindon

Min. Night 9 °C

Features

  • Peaky Blinders publicity shotBrum do

    Why is the Birmingham accent so difficult to mimic?


  • Oliver CromwellA brief history

    The 900 year story behind the creation of a UK parliament


  • Image of Ankor Wat using lidarJungle Atlantis

    How lasers have revealed an ancient city beneath the forest


  • TheatreBard taste? Watch

    Are trailer videos on social media spoiling theatre?


  • Agents with the US Secret Service, such as this one, are responsible for guarding the presidentHard at work

    White House break-in adds to Secret Service woes


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.