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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Cate Blanchett’s English manor has a chilling past of drugs, witchcraft and looters

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Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton splashed a cool $6.25million on a lavish English manor named Highwell House in 2016. 

But beneath the glamour of Cate’s sprawling estate is a chilling history she’d likely rather forget.   

Previously known as Potters Manor or Steep Park, the Victorian manor was once a squalid drug den frequented by criminal, pagans and drifters. 

The chilling past of Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton's English manor is revealed: The A-list couple live in a mansion that was once a squalid pagan drug den painted with witchcraft symbols

The chilling past of Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton’s English manor is revealed: The A-list couple live in a mansion that was once a squalid pagan drug den painted with witchcraft symbols

English charm: Cate and Andrew (pictured) splashed a cool $6.25million on their lavish English manor named Highwell House in 2016

English charm: Cate and Andrew (pictured) splashed a cool $6.25million on their lavish English manor named Highwell House in 2016  

It was originally built in 1890, but began to fall into disrepair in the early 2000s before finally being extensively refurbished in 2015.  

Instagram images prior to the renovations show the property as a dilapidated squat house with building debris, broken furniture, smashed glass and drug paraphernalia.

Pentagram symbols, often used as part of Wiccan and pagan ceremonies, were drawn on the ground, while the word ‘Liar’ was spray-painted onto a wall in large black letters. 

Glamorous: Following extensive renovations, the palatial home has been restored to its original grandeur (pictured in 2016)

Glamorous: Following extensive renovations, the palatial home has been restored to its original grandeur (pictured in 2016) 

Derelict: It was originally built in 1890, but began to fall into disrepair in the early 2000s. (Pictured in 2012)

Derelict: It was originally built in 1890, but began to fall into disrepair in the early 2000s. (Pictured in 2012) 

Eerie: Pentagram symbols, often used as part of Wiccan ceremonies, were drawn on the ground

Eerie: Pentagram symbols, often used as part of Wiccan ceremonies, were drawn on the ground

Terrifying: The word 'Liar' was spray-painted onto a wall in large black letters

Terrifying: The word ‘Liar’ was spray-painted onto a wall in large black letters

Crumbling walls with ripped wallpaper served as haunting backdrops for rooms that had long been ransacked by looters, while crumpled documents were eerie reminders of previous residents. 

Many locals even believed the home to be haunted, with some claiming to have photographed ghosts inside its walls.  

In 2015, The Sun named the manor Britain’s 13th most creepiest abandoned house.  

Haunting: Many locals even believed the home to be haunted, with some claiming to have photographed ghosts inside its walls

Haunting: Many locals even believed the home to be haunted, with some claiming to have photographed ghosts inside its walls

Creepy: Crumbling walls with ripped wallpaper served as haunting backdrops for rooms that had long been ransacked by looters

Creepy: Crumbling walls with ripped wallpaper served as haunting backdrops for rooms that had long been ransacked by looters

Remnants: Crumpled documents were eerie reminders of previous residents

Remnants: Crumpled documents were eerie reminders of previous residents

Before Cate and her family moved in, the mansion was owned by a wealthy couple named Mr and Mrs Walford. 

Mr Walford died in 2001, while his wife moved into an aged care two years later – leaving the property abandoned for a decade before it was refurbished and placed on the market. 

‘We’re just pleased the place is occupied now for years it was derelict and we were getting all sorts of people up there, druggies,’ a local told The Daily Telegraph when asked how they feel about Cate and her family moving into Highwell House.  

‘They were burglars that were taking their loot there and splitting it up at one stage in the old barn,’ they said.    

Refurbished: Highwell House was extensively renovated in 2015, a year before Cate purchased the property (Pictured in 2016)

Refurbished: Highwell House was extensively renovated in 2015, a year before Cate purchased the property (Pictured in 2016) 

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