Friday, 23 December 2011

The truth isn’t always as the media portrays it

The story of a murder scene, a crumbling mansion and a bankrupt property company

This morning I read a piece in the Daily Mail about a crumbling mansion in Cheshire that simply didn’t quite ring true.

Oakleigh, Dunham Road, Bowdon, Altrincham, Cheshire, WN14 4NX in it's current derelict state

The article, sensationally headlined: “The stunning Victorian mansion no one wants to buy,” told of the tragic story of the manslaughter of Alison Lumsden by her manically depressed husband, Christopher, in 2005 at their home, Oakleigh in the Bowdon area of Altrincham.

An aerial view of Oakleigh prior to the death of Alison Lumsden

In their piece, the Daily Mail suggest that since the killing the house has been: “Deserted, with smashed [and] boarded-up windows, dozens of tyres piled up along one side and its lawns turned to scorched grass.” They describe the property as an “eyesore” that no one wants but in fact, when I did a simple Google search, I discovered that it had, until recently, been owned by a firm of developers named Greenlink.
Oakleigh, built in the 1880s, was purchased from Christopher Lumsden and the estate of his wife for £1 million by Greenlink in 2007 following his release after serving a 2-year sentence. At around the same time the company, operated by Colin Smith and John Brownley, also separately purchased an adjoining house named Tall Trees for a further £1 million as well as piece of land connecting the two.

A more recent aerial view of Oakleigh

The Daily Mail point out that Oakleigh and Talls Trees are now for sale through a firm of estate agents named Watersons as a whole at offers above £2 million or separately in up to three lots. In his piece, James Tozer, is very specific in pointing out the agents’ neglect to mention the “grisly past” of the property but fails to make reference to the fact that the main reason the site has fallen into such disrepair is because Greenlink, who secured planning permission for significant redevelopment there, went bust in 2010.

With this kind of reporting, the Daily Mail show themselves to be uninterested in the true facts surrounding the dereliction and sale of this property. Instead of attempting to shock readers with the most gruesome of old news, the paper should also have acknowledged that the recession is most probably the real reason that Oakleigh has fallen into such decline and as to why no one has yet bought this property.  

For more information on the sale of Oakleigh contact Watersons on +44 (0) 161 941 6633 or email them at: For details and imagery see:

Read the Daily Mail’s coverage (23rd December 2011) on the sale of Oakleigh and the Lumsden case at:

1 comment:

Katy said...

Gruesome place. Let it rot.