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Mansion left to rot after man killed his wife in 2005 goes up for sale for £3.25m after restoration

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A once derelict Victorian mansion which was once the site of a horrific murder has been put up for sale for £3.25m after a restoration project spanning up to ten years.

Oakleigh had been left to rot after it became infamous as the luxury home of a top lawyer who stabbed his wife to death during a frenzied attack in the master bedroom.

Christopher Lumsden, then 52, had knifed 53-year old wife Alison around 30 times in March 2005 after she announced she was leaving him for a family friend.

After the savage killing, the five bedroomed gentleman’s residence in Altrincham, Cheshire, with its immaculately manicured lawns, tennis courts and coach house remained empty and fell into rack and ruin.

The Victorian mansion was left to rot after its horrific history came to light
The mansion has since been restored and now includes an underground swimming pool and gym as well as a theatre
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A Victorian mansion left to rot after lawyer stabbed his wife to death in the master bedroom in 2005 has gone up for sale for £3.25m following a ten year restoration project which has seen developers add a swimming pool and home theatre (right)

Christopher Lumsden is thought to have moved to Derbyshire where he is working as a business consultant

Lumsden's wife Alison was stabbed to death in their home after telling her husband she was having an affair and wanted a divorce

Top lawyer Christopher Lumsden (left) served two and a half years in prison after stabbing his wife Alison (right) to death  in the home’s master bedroom when she told him she was having an affair with a family friend and wanted a divorce in 2005

Now the home has been restored, renamed Devisdale House and has been put up for sale as a ‘striking 19th century Arts and Crafts villa’ complete with underground swimming pool and sauna, plus cinema room and a triple garage.

Other lavish leisure facilities listed include a gym and a jacuzzi and it notes the home is surrounded by gardens spanning three quarters of an acre.

Details by estate agents Jackson-Stops make no mention of its grim past but promotional material gushes: ‘An incredible gothic Victorian villa which has been meticulously remodelled in recent years to form a bright and open house with a subterranean leisure suite.’

The property, located in Dunham Road, was believed to have been built in the 1880s and was once the site of a Catholic boys school in the 1940s.

Developers added a leisure suite on the bottom floor which includes a swimming pool, sauna, a gym and changing facilities

Developers added a leisure suite on the bottom floor which includes a swimming pool, sauna, a gym and changing facilities

The five-bedroomed home now features a sauna as part of a leisure facility on the lower ground floor of the Altrincham home

The five-bedroomed home now features a sauna as part of a leisure facility on the lower ground floor of the Altrincham home

The ground floor accommodation comprises of a large dining kitchen (pictured), family room, dining room and drawing room

The ground floor accommodation comprises of a large dining kitchen (pictured), family room, dining room and drawing room

On the lower ground floor, there is a large wine display shelf in the hallway which leads to a cinema and games room

On the lower ground floor, there is a large wine display shelf in the hallway which leads to a cinema and games room

On the first floor there are four large bedrooms, all en-suite, with polished marble tiles and monsoon style showers (pictured)

On the first floor there are four large bedrooms, all en-suite, with polished marble tiles and monsoon style showers (pictured)

Lumsden, a partner at the international law firm Pinsent Masons, led a seemingly happy life amid the dinner parties, tennis clubs and bridge evenings he held with fellow members of the Cheshire set.

But his wife of 24 years, a former Sotheby’s auctioneer, was having an affair with married businessman Roger Flint, 58, after they met at Bowdon tennis club and in March 2005, she told her husband and asked for a divorce.

But, after spending several days putting his affairs in order, Lumsden – who had muscular dystrophy – attacked her when she returned home after spending the evening with her lover.

Later Lumsden – who had been in bed in his pyjamas – recalled to a court how Alison was sat at the dressing table in their bedroom taking off her makeup after telling him she ‘couldn’t live with a cripple’.

Despite being charged with murder Lumsden was jailed for five years after he was found guilty of manslaughter on the ground of diminished responsibility claiming he had a depressive illness.

He served two and half years in jail and is believed to have inherited £1m from Alison’s will which Alison’s family reportedly agreed for the sake of the couple’s two grown-up children.

The home was left to rot but has now been refurbished throughout and is back on the market for £3.25 million

The home was left to rot but has now been refurbished throughout and is back on the market for £3.25 million

One of the three drawing rooms in the home which has been renamed Devisdale House as it has been put on the market

One of the three drawing rooms in the home which has been renamed Devisdale House as it has been put on the market

The master bedroom, where Lumsden stabbed his wife to death in 2005, now features a large walk-in wardrobe

The master bedroom, where Lumsden stabbed his wife to death in 2005, now features a large walk-in wardrobe

The home was sold to a firm of property developers for £1.4 million in November 2007 and has now been restored throughout

The home was sold to a firm of property developers for £1.4 million in November 2007 and has now been restored throughout

He sold the house to a firm of property developers for £1.4m in November 2007 and later moved to Derbyshire to work as a business consultant.

During the project, planning permission on the site was granted to develop and extend Oakleigh. Builders demolished Oakleigh’s orangery and extended the basement area to form an indoor heated swimming pool.

One former neighbour said: ‘A woman died horribly inside that house and for a long time it did seem the scars of what happened would not go away.

‘But its great to see it looking so fantastic again after all these years and everyone hopes it will be a lovely home for someone.

‘When the Lumsdens had it, Oakleigh was a lovely property with the Lumsdens regularly playing tennis and holding garden parties for their friends from the tennis club but after the murder it was overrun by vandals and there was rubbish everywhere.

‘There were piles of tyres in the driveway, half the windows are smashed or boarded up and there was graffiti everywhere. Before it was renovated it had become a real eyesore. ‘

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