The sale of one of Watford’s most prized listed buildings is still progressing seven months on.

Little Cassiobury House in Hempstead Road, owned by Hertfordshire County Council, was put up for sale with a £750,000 guide price in January this year.

It was then confirmed that the Grade II* building has been sold, subject to contract, in May. This refers to when an offer has been accepted but is not yet legally binding.

The listing was removed months later but the council told the Watford Observer, last week, that it is still unable to confirm the details of the buyer and therefore it remains uncertain how it is likely to be used in future.

The sale is apparently still progressing, but contracts have not been exchanged.

The 12-bedroom building is thought to be a dower house from the late 17th century, initially built for Elizabeth Percy, Countess of Essex.

More recently it has been uninhabited for some time and was described as “in slow decay”, by a Historic England assessment.

Watford Observer: Little Cassiobury House.Little Cassiobury House. (Image: Little Cassiobury CIC)

While it was online, the listing called the building a “development opportunity”. It said: “As one of the only three Grade II* listed buildings in Watford it is of great significance to the town’s heritage.

“Any proposed development is likely to require permissions adhering to the protected nature of the building offering a sympathetic restoration of the site.”

The listing added: “The property has been uninhabited for some time and is need of restoration.

"After lying vacant for a number of years Little Cassiobury House has fallen into disrepair."

Watford Observer: Little Cassiobury interior (during the time it was vacant).Little Cassiobury interior (during the time it was vacant). (Image: Little Cassiobury CIC)

Little Cassiobury House was sold to the county council in 1938 and was used as offices for education staff before becoming vacant.

In 2017, the property was leased to Watford Borough Council as part of an effort to inspect and restore it, with an option to purchase the building, but that expired in April 2020.

When the building was put up for sale, Watford mayor Peter Taylor highlighted that development at the site will be limited by “significant protections” in place to prevent “inappropriate development of the building”.

Grade II* listing provides legal protection from demolition and alterations which could destroy its "historic fabric" or affect its character and appearance.