Property Of The Week Lair Of The Famous Beast Of Barnet Sale

Property Of The Week: Lair Of The Famous ‘Beast Of Barnet’


An elegant and substantial 10,127 square foot 13-bedroom family house on Hocroft Road in Cricklewood with a large rear garden, where the famous ‘Beast of Barnet’ – an escaped panther-like Lynx – lived and lurked in the undergrowth until sensationally captured by police and zoo wardens in 2001, is for sale with Beauchamp Estates.

Located on a premier road on the popular Hocroft Estate, the former lair of the ‘Beast of Barnet’ is a charming detached double fronted house (now totally ‘beast’ free), set behind a gate carriage driveway. It provides an entrance hall, three reception rooms, indoor swimming pool, gym, 11 family bedrooms (four ensuite), staff bedrooms and long garden with a pond, bordered by mature planting, and two garages.

Beauchamp Estates highlight that addresses like Hocroft Road linked to real or mythical beasts always attract significant interest from the public and media alike. Examples include the panther-like Beast of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, the werewolves of Cannock Chase War Cemetery, the hounds of Brook Hall in Dartmoor (from which the Hound of the Baskervilles story originates) and the Beast of Exmoor, the Lynx/panther said to roam the moors of Exmoor.

The story of the ‘Beast of Barnet’ and its links to the house for sale on Hocroft Road date back to 1991 when residents of Hocroft Road and surrounding thoroughfares reported seeing a scary panther like ‘beast’ roaming around their gardens and roads late at night, its eyes reflected in car headlights. Domestic cats, rabbits and guinea pigs were reported missing, setting local residents on edge, but then the mysterious ‘beast’ vanished without a trace.

In September 1998 there were several more sightings of the ‘Beast of Barnet’ and police marksmen and a Metropolitan Police helicopter were called to hunt for the monster and local residents were warned to secure their homes and lock up their pets.

Experts from London Zoo and the Royal Veterinary College were called in to consult and there was speculation around the Hocroft Estate that the ‘beast’ was either an escaped puma or leopard, with eye witnesses describing a “puma-style” big cat with a sandy coat. But as quickly as it appeared, the ‘beast’ again vanished.

It wasn’t until May 2001 that the ‘Beast of Barnet’ was spotted again by a cleaner, lurking in the undergrowth at the end of the rear garden of the house currently for sale on Hocroft Road. The ‘beast’ had been living in the garden bushes in secret for some time, feeding on birds, squirrels and hares found in the gardens of the Hocroft Estate.

The lynx was sent to the Big Cat enclosure at London Zoo and given the name Lara. After living at London Zoo for three years Lara was transferred to the Parc Zoologique du Bois de Coulange in Amneville, France where she found a lynx mate and gave birth to lots of cubs, eventually passing away in 2009. So the story had a happy ending.

Farhana Meerza, 56, has owned the house on Hocroft Road for many years. Alongside the garden hosting Lara the lynx the large family house is where her two daughters lived and grew up, and where she hosted members of their extended family.

Property Of The Week Lair Of The Famous Beast Of Barnet Sale

Farhana Meerza says: “The house is wonderful and provides an exceptionally large number of bedrooms, lots of entertaining space and of course the indoor swimming pool and gym. It’s the perfect family home for either a large family or a family who also want to accommodate extended family members. My daughters have now grown up and our extended family has left, which is why I have decided to sell and downsize.”

Property Of The Week Lair Of The Famous Beast Of Barnet Sale

Rosy Khalastchy, Head of Beauchamp Estates St John’s Wood & North West London says: "This is the first time in my career that I have been asked to sell a London house which for over a decade was linked to panther like creature living and lurking in the undergrowth of the back garden. Instead of a historical ghost, this house had its own monster. Like the friendly lynx, this wonderful family house is a really wonderful and attractive property. It offers an exceptionally generous number of bedrooms and wonderful entertaining space and is perfect for a large family. I think potential buyers will also smile at the story of the ‘beast’ in the back garden that turned out to be a tame big cat.”

The house is for sale for £8,000,000 (freehold). For further information contact Beauchamp Estates (St John’s Wood) on +44 (0)20 7722 9793, email londonsales@beauchamp.com or visit www.beauchamp.com.

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