Cumberbatch buying £8m Somerset mansion


why do wealthy people buy huge mansions ?  How much space can they and their family and perhaps a couple of staff  need?  Surely there  is  a point where a house becomes so big it is less desirable than a smaller one ?  Is it is just willy waving?

I envy the wealthy having pads in desirable parts of the world and of course a spacious home but these huge mansions/ estates  seem a nonsense to me.


I've always wondered this. I find it quite burdensome to maintain and organise the maintenance of my modest 3BR weatherboard. I can't imagine having to live somewhere that required staff. 

It’s like these people cannot just live a life with freedom and comfort and security there money affords but have to build a huge “thing” around them whether that is literally a mansion or an entourage or whatever.  I don’t understand the mentality at all 

I suppose they’d say safety? Well away from the holi polloi where they can have peace and quiet. 

Would seem to be wasted on someone who probably spends half his time in the US.

there are elements i would want to have at my house - a tennis court, a cinema room, a home gym, a nice dining are, a nice kitchen, a few guest rooms for friends and nice outdoor garden/dining area.

I wouldnt want a massive palace palace with empty rooms just for the sake of it, but it would use all of the above relatively frequently so would be worth the upkeep. 

Space is nice.  Especially if other people do all of the work maintaining it and making it very comfortable and pleasant for you, which they will.

Of course it is just willy waving. Same as a flash car or a Rolex watch. 

Human life is utterly fvcking pointless though in the end so pretty much everyone is looking for something to make it look like their life choices were correct/they are 'doing it better'.  What else is he going to do with the money. If it makes him feel like lord of the manor and he likes that then good luck to him. 

He comes from a rich family (of slaving scumbags as it happens) who had sunk down to relatively middle class by the time he was born. He probably feels like he should be living in a big house. 

Guy, u have modest ambitions and a modest imagination. 


Benny Cabbagepatch is more.  He has seen fourteen million, six hundred and give potential futures and this house is the only one that succeeds.  So he went to foxtons and announced Dormammu, I've come to bargain. 

Some space is nice - I can’t see loads of it is - otherwise it is more like living in an empty hotel 

When you're posh enough that your wikipedia starts with a section labelled "Antecedents and family tree" followed up by "Birth family and schooling" then it's probably just the done thing. 

Though tbf I suspect a lot of it is about being able to get privacy by having a lot of empty land around you. As a normal person it's impossible to process how constantly followed and watched someone that famous is. 

Privacy thing I suppose I understand - if you can’t go out for a walk without being mobbed you will want enough private land to go out for a walk on..

335 acres in Somerset. Perhaps he wants to be a gentleman farmer. A romantic ideal. Support the local economy. Heritage. Status. Legacy. Impress his Hollywood mates with a quintessential Englishman's home.

Or just buy a regular 4 bed house in Kensington for about the same money. What does £8 million get you these days?    

Presumably he also has some sort of pied-a-terre in London, as well as a place in California (or New York or both)?

"Owning a large swathe of countryside would be great." 

Why - unless you are a farmer?  Would be a nightmare to upkeep and the amount of additional pleasure you would get out of a walk in the countryside knowing its yours would dissipate in a few months absolutely guaranteed (ok privacy issues for the famous aside).   A nice garden is great - 335 acres?  Do me a favour that is guaranteed net hassle over pleasure.  Wouldnt thank you for it.

In 1728,[2] Benedict Cumberbatch's 7th-great-grandfather, Abraham Cumberbatch of Saint Andrew, Barbados (died 1753), acquired properties on the island of Barbados in the West Indies,[3] which used enslaved people for labour. These properties were passed down through the generations to Benedict's great-great-great-grandfather, Abraham Parry Cumberbatch[4][5] (died 1840 in HellinglySussex). He was an absentee landlord of two estates, Cleland and Lammings, for which he received £5388 as slave compensation (via the Slave Compensation Act 1837, four years after the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 had abolished slavery).[6] The Cleland plantation enslaved 250 people, and was the main source of the Cumberbatch family's considerable wealth at the time;[7] they were one of the richest families in Britain.[2]


Wow. I think he even played the part of a slave owner in 12 years a slave. Maybe he'd be an absentee landlord. 

@ Guy agreed. Ditto could be said for, those in the professional services firms at MD/Partner level who have 1 or 2 kids and live in 6/7/8 bed houses with 4 living rooms. These massive houses mostly resemble bland hotels and are un-homely

They may have just liked the house, Grade 2, location etc. I don’t know why it’s even being reported. He had problems with his neighbours in London with their objection to an extension also reported so probably keen to avoid that scenario. The money has come from the film industry and he is a good actor and seems decent. Press are desperate. 

probably just thinks it’ll be cool to own a mansion

I know a guy who’s just bought one a bit smaller than Cumberbatch’s. A lawyer. Dude is gidged.

7th great grandfather... We each have 256 7th great grandfathers.  They are barely related.

He must have plans for the land.  He probably didn't buy it for the existing house.

its not cool to own a mansion, I know a couple of city lawyers who have done the same - on a slightly smaller scale.     They fancy being lord of the manor and then nearly always regret it.  Upkeep, problems with neighbours, problems with staff, constant hassle, huge golden cage trap.   For what? 

I am not being down on all spending here - a few pads around the world I get, even a luxurious equally expensive but more modest sized home in London in the right location I get.    Its just this huge house and land thing I do not get at all.

I grew up on 600 acres and it was bliss having somewhere different to go walking every day without coming across another soul and being able to just find a sunny spot for an afternoon without someone else appearing and joining you.   That doesn't wear off and even the 50 acres we have now is enough to take a slightly different route every day even though I have one favoured route that I'm happy to do most days.

335 acres of Somerset would come for much under £3m plus I guess there will be some commercial buildings with an estate that size and also some staff cottages and the like so the house itself may not be spectacularly large.

It's a bit of a dick move to start his Wiki page with all that slavery stuff. It reads like he should have some kind of inherited guilt about it, when in reality it was generations ago and nothing to do with him.

Sometimes people post things on the internet which are basically 'I wouldn't do what he did' and the amount of discussion it stirs up is amazing. 

Still, I suppose humans have been gossiping for millennia.

Prob because to lead a "normal" life i.e. not have some w**ker sticking a camera phone in your face, be outwith the range of pap lenses etc. you probably need several acres for a start. The Arabs in mayfair have the benefit of nobody having a clue who they are. 

I would happily own that much land and use it to breed horses or cows. Or both. 

Owning land is hard work but it’s so rewarding. 

It might be downunder but it isn't here.  Reams of paperwork to receive a tiny subsidy with the constant threat of it being claimed back because someone looking at a satellite photo has decided your field is some how smaller this year because they've changed the way of measuring it.  Then after all that you sell your produce for less than it cost to grow.

Yep, just like being a billionaire is such a hassle.  Having to instruct tax and private wealth professionals, in particular, is tiresome.  

Don't need any of those as a farmer as you've spent all the wealth.  I can't describe the relief of looking out across the valley last summer at the crops failing to grow due to the lack of rain and knowing it was someone else's problem.  I often think about how different life would have been if my grandfather had decided to buy farms.

Your post assumes that you need to derive income from the land sails. 

bumbercatch obviously doesn’t need to.. it’s pure recreational ownership. 

The land will be worth probably £10k-£15k an acre, so £3.3m-£5m.  The land will be rented out, which means someone will pay him to maintain it for him, so it will at least cover costs.  Even if he's overpaying for the house (probably not at only around £3m), the land will only grow in value.  There are probably subsidy entitlements as well, which can be covered off with the right arrangements, so that it pays / manages itself, as long as he's got decent advisers.

Pretty certain he won't do a Clarkson and turn it into the next Diddly Squat, even if Amazon offered him the gig.