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A georgian mansion house overlooking the River Dart - which was once rocked by seventies supergroup Led Zeppelin - has just been sold to a mystery buyer for more than £6million.

The identity of the owner is being kept such a closely guarded secret that the Dartmouth estate agents who sold it have signed a 'gagging order' banning them from saying anything about the buyer or the seller. In fact, the nine bedroom Old Rectory at Dittisham, which comes with seven bathrooms and magnificent views across the Dart Estuary, was sold by former Duran Duran manager Michael Berrow and his wife Frances.

It was only on the market for a month before being snapped up - and at least one of the super rich interested in snapping it was Titanic star Kate Winslet, who was spotted in the village when she came down to look over it.

In fact the word is the Kate did not buy it and that the new owner is not part of the Hollywood or superstar elite and will be using it as a holiday home.

The Old Rectory went on the market a little over a month ago and was marketed by the Marchand Petit chain of estate agents.

It sparked off a lot of interest from would-be buyers from this country and abroad.

But a spokesman for the agents, who did not even want to be named, revealed that there was a legal agreement which meant that he could not say anything about the sale, how much the house actually sold for or who sold or bought it.

However the huge old building with four reception rooms, a small recording studio, a swimming pool and six acres of grounds at the end of Rectory Lane, Dittisham, was being advertised with an asking price of £6 million and it is believed it went for more than that.

The original Georgian building was virtually destroyed by fire in the 1970s leaving nothing but a 50 square foot shell and a porch.

In the early 1980s, Led Zeppelin star Jon (sic) Paul Jones lived there and the band used to rehearse there.

In the village pubs and the village store, locals were adamant that they had no idea who the new owners are.

"Somebody said it had been sold but no-one is saying who to,"
said one. "We seriously haven't heard anything at the moment," said another.

Local district councillor and farmer John Tucker said it was common knowledge that Kate Winslet had been down to look at it but had decided not to buy it.

"There were quite a few celebrities interested but it seems it's not anybody we know of. All I have heard is that they want it for a second home," he said.

SX8654 : The Old Rectory, Dittisham by Derek Harper
The Old Rectory, Dittisham
© Copyright Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

February 07, 1962 - Deborah Bonham, sister to John, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England
February 23, 1966 - Warren Grant, son of Peter, was born.
February xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin enters the Billboard Top 40
February 16, 1969 - Led Zeppelin wrap up their first American tour in Baltimore, MD.
February 07, 1970 - Edinburgh gig cancelled after Plant receives facial injuries in a car accident
February 28, 1970 - The band performs as "The Nobs" in Copenhagen after threat of legal action from Countess Von Zeppelin
February xx, 1971 - John Paul Jones involved in legal issues regarding a musician who shares the same name
February xx, 1971 - Overdubs for the fourth album are recorded at Island Studios
February 14, 1972 - The band is refused admission into Singapore due to their long hair
February 16, 1972 - The Australian tour begins in Perth
February 21, 1972 - Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll b/w Four Sticks (Atlantic 45-2865) 45 single is released in the US.
February xx, 1973 - The band makes final preparations for the European tour
February 16, 1973 - The release date for Houses Of The Holy is pushed back due to some sleeve problems
February xx, 1974 - Sessions for Physical Graffiti continue
February 14, 1974 - Page, Plant and Bonham attend a Roy Harper concert
February 04, 1975 - Zeppelin perform a last minute show at Nassau Coliseum to accomodate fans after being banned in Boston
February 24, 1975 - Physical Graffiti finally issued worldwide to phenomenal sales
February xx, 1976 - Media reports that Zeppelin are due to release an album entitled Obelisk
February xx, 1977 - Robert contracts a bout of tonsillitis postponing the American tour
February xx, 1978 - Robert Plant helps produce a record for punk band Dansette Damage
February 16, 1978 - The cases against Bonham, Cole & Grant stemming from the Oakland incident are heard and all receive suspended prison sentences and fines
February xx, 1979 - Although absent from the US stage or market, Led Zeppelin rank best in many music magazine categories
February xx, 1979 - Mixing sessions for In Through The Out Door take place at Polar Studios. Rumors fly of a European tour
February 03, 1980 - Robert joins Dave Edmund’s Rockpile at the Birmingham Top Rank
February 13, 2005 - Led Zeppelin receives a Grammy for Lifetime Achievment.
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