The Reich-move for Hitler

Ben Fox
Ben Fox

A Devon house, built in the shape of a swastika, was reputedly destined to be Adolf Hitler’s home, a historian has claimed.

The house, north of Dartmoor, was supposed to be the dictator’s house once he had conquered Great Britain. The 16-room mansion – Knowstone Manor – was built in the 1930s by a German bachelor who lived there alone with his housekeeper. However, the house burned down in the 1960s. A bungalow on the original site is currently up for sale. The estate, around 1,600 acres worth, was supposedly funded by money taken from the Third Reich.

It had a galleried hall, four reception rooms, ten bed and dressing rooms, four bathrooms and a spacious ballroom with a ceiling decorated with signs of the zodiac. However, just a matter of months after the German leader’s death, the house was put-up for sale in July 1945. The mansion no longer exists as it burned down in the 1960s.

But the story of its links to Hitler have re-emerged as the property that now stands on the land – Manor Farm – is on the market. Local historian David Hill said: ‘By 1939, numerous other farms around it had been purchased and it was a 1,600-acre estate.

‘All this for a bachelor in his mid-30s and his housekeeper. It was said the bachelor was a German national, and the purchase made with funds from the Third Reich to be used as a Nazi headquarters for Hitler’s Top men after the war had been won. From the air, a photograph showed buildings resembling the swastika.

‘There was also a glass dome with a complex lighting system which could only be seen from the air. The lights were supposedly used as a signal for enemy planes.’

The property is also the subject of a new book ‘A House for Hitler?’ by Christopher Chanter. It reads: ‘It is probably the most spacious modern country house of moderate size built in recent years. The residence is one of great architectural distinction, easily accessible but in the heart of unspoilt country.’

The current slate-roofed property has been the home of an elderly couple since 1970. Having raised their family at the farm while also rearing cows, the owners, who have asked not to be named, are now looking to retire.

It is on sale with Greenslade Taylor Hunt for offers in excess of £595,000.

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