Manchester United's Gary Neville has shrubbery at £7m mansion shaped into 'MUFC'

18 March 2009 11:51
The 18 foot by ten foot shrubbery can be clearly seen by visitors to the hillside farmhouse on an embankment opposite Neville's front driveway.

One local said: 'The design of the property is self indulgence but to have a shrubbery shaped in the letters of his football club is beyond belief.

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'Why can't he grow normal privet hedges like everyone else. This was once a traditional old farming community and now it looks like something out of Beverley Hills.'

Neville bought an entire 18th century farming hamlet near Bolton, Greater Manchester five years ago so he could convert in it into a 12-bedroomed mansion for himself and wife Emma.

But there were hitches with builders about the design of the property as it was due to be finished in time for his wedding in June 2007.

The defender, who earns around £90,000 a week, held his wedding reception there but work had to continue on the property.

The property is dominated at the front by a sweeping driveway before visitors head up an imposing flight of stairs leading to a huge front door entrance before visitors are greeted in a grandiose front hall.

At the back of the property is an indoor swimming pool, gym and reception rooms where Neville and his friends can look over glorious views of the countryside.

The home also has its own private golf course, gym, stables and a cinema.

Originally built in 1784, the L-shaped farmhouse - complete with timber beams and gargoyles - formed the centrepiece of the derelict hamlet that was once home to 14 families.

A census in 1851 revealed it had a thriving population of 60, including a wheelwright, labourer and a loom weaver.

But after Neville bought the land a planning report warned the site was 'at risk of deteriorating beyond repair unless it attracts significant investment'.

It said Neville's investment would 'restore the site as a hamlet so it can remain as a long-term part of the local area.

'Over recent years, the hamlet has lost the majority of its population, with many of the houses becoming dilapidated or being used as farmhouse outbuildings.'

 

Source: Telegraph