Thursday, July 16, 2009

To the auction house: Virginia Woolf beach is sold for £80,000
Secret buyer snaps up 30-hectare plot on Cornish coast that probably inspired novel
Steven Morris writing in, Monday 13 July 2009

The lighthouse of Woolf's novel is believed by many to be based on the one that sits on Godrevy Island in Cornwall. Photograph: John Lawrence/Getty Images
It boasts golden sand, cosy dunes that give respite against the winds – and a vista with a very famous literary connection. Little wonder, then, that Upper Towans beach in Gwithian, Cornwall, caused a fierce bidding war when it went on sale at an auction today.

After interest from as far afield as Russia and the US, the beach and its view, widely believed to have been the inspiration for Virginia Woolf's novel To the Lighthouse, was sold for £80,000 – £30,000 more than the guide price. The plot, covering 30 hectares (76 acres), was bought by an unnamed woman with Cornish connections. What she will do with this little chunk of paradise is unclear. The buyer is not allowed to develop it, dig it up or stop other people from using it – although she may be able to make a little money from donkey rides or selling ice cream.
The point seemed to be just to own something unique and wonderful. Richard Argles, director of auctioneers Colliers, would not reveal the name of the buyer but said he believed it had been sold to the right person. "We had three telephone bidders and at least one in person. It was quite exciting; it always is with this sort of auction. We had fantastic interest," he said.
The full story at The Guardian online.

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