The Franklin’s promising resort investment also proved doomed. The 32-room luxury accommodation property sank the couple into debt.
After 19 years of business, they finally decided to throw in the towel. Operating expenses continued to overshadow income. Despite its famous genealogy, the mansion gradually slipped into obscurity.
Gillan found that by 1995, his finances were so desperate that he was nearly bankrupt. In order to avoid sinking into further debt, he sold his castle to Svenia and Paul Franklin, who are the couple responsible for re-branding it 'The Springs'.
When asked if he ever visited his old property, Gillan smiled and said, “I have declined invitations to visit because they have a dress code.”
The Springs, a hotel and golf resort named for a little lagoon that formed near the manor, hosted wealthy guests and businessmen. The converted mansion provided a prime location for hosting weddings and other special events.
Inside, on the wall in the kitchen, hung the prestigious 2010-2011 Rosette Award, a coveted honor reserved for culinary excellence. Indeed, it marked the end of rock and roll celebs partying at Gillan and Zoe’s exclusive pad.
Warren Tepper and his accomplice, Tazer, run a YouTube channel called Warren Urbexing. The two urban explorers come from the nearby county of Hampshire, and there’s nothing they enjoy more than exploring old, dilapidated properties.
While trespassing is considered a civil offense, Tepper and his buddy love their hobby too much to worry about that.
Sneaking onto properties is a little risky, and, some would say invasive, but Tepper told the BBC, “Nobody actually seems to care about the buildings anymore, or they’ve just been left there to rot for years and years and years.”
He added, “I don’t see that being a problem as long as I’m not breaking and entering when I get there.”