Officials inspect famous Batman Begins mansion near Aylesbury in hopes of restoring derelict building

The rotting building has been showcased in major Hollywood blockbusters

By James Lowson
Monday, 7th March 2022, 5:54 pm
Updated Monday, 7th March 2022, 5:56 pm

Officials have inspected a famous luxurious mansion near Aylesbury in the hopes of restoring the building to its former glory.

Mentmore Towers, an iconic building which was immortalised in Hollywood favourites Eyes Wide Shut and Batman Begins, now sits derelict.

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Famous Batman Begins mansion near Aylesbury now languishes in state of decay
Christian Bale outside Mentmore Towers in Batman Begins

In response to this officials from Heritage England and Bucks Council have visited the site to start a potential reclamation project.

Last Tuesday (1 March), Bucks Council and Historic England officials used a police escort to inspect the current state of the formerly idyllic home.

A Historic England spokesman said:“We are working closely with the owners and Bucks Council to ensure a positive future for Mentmore Towers and parkland. Historic England staff visited the property on Tuesday with heritage and planning officers from the council to review the general condition of the Grade I listed building and Grade II* landscape, both of which are on the Heritage at Risk Register. Our staff were shown around the house and grounds. The police attended to ensure access.

"Mentmore is the first of the grand Rothschild mansions built in Aylesbury Vale. It was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, best known for designing the Crystal Palace, and was one of the earliest houses to have the home comforts of an inbuilt hot water and central heating system.”

The rotting interior of Mentmore Towers, photo from @places_forgotten

Bucks Council confirmed to The Bucks Herald it's working with the body to secure Mentmore Towers 'long-term conservation'.

Issues maintaining the building are linked back to its sale in 1997 to property tycoon Simon Halabi.

The property developer hoped to turn the famous mansion into a 171-suite, five-star hotel.

A Daily Mail report suggests that Halabi's plans for the mansion were scuppered by the 2008 financial crisis.

Simon, declared bankruptcy in 2010, as a direct result of the plummeting financial market.

In previous years, a judicial challenge, which the tycoon won in 2007, had previously halted his plans to do business at the mansion.

The photographer who highlighted the decay, Ben James said: "Sadly now most of it is falling apart and needs gutting, which is such a shame.

"Ceilings are falling down. It's hard to see how anyone will be able to do anything with it because it would cost too much money.

"There is a library with secret rooms behind bookcases. I recognised it from the Batman film.

"It's sad when you think of its history and what has been filmed there as it is such a beautiful house."