FTX-Linked Charity Foundation Lists Oxford Castle “Wytham Abbey” for Sales at £15M

Wytham Abbey, a magnificent manor located just a short distance from Oxford, is now available for purchase for £15 million ($18.7 million). This historic property, known as the “Effective Altruism Castle,” gained attention when it was acquired in April 2022 by Effective Ventures Foundation using funds from Open Philanthropy.

This transaction raised eyebrows due to concerns over the use of charitable funds to purchase such a lavish property. Additionally, it was earlier found that Effective Ventures received backing from the FTX Foundation, associated with Sam Bankman-Fried, who was convicted of fraud.

Wytham Abbey Sale @ £15 million

Amidst this backdrop, Wytham Abbey is now listed for £15 million through listing agent Charles Elsmore-Wickens of Savills underscoring the property’s uniqueness and potential value. 

Meanwhile, the property spans 27,000 square feet and boasts 27 bedrooms, and 18 bathrooms, all set on 23 acres of land. Adjusted for inflation, the purchase price from 2022 now equates to £16.2 million. 

With a history dating back over 500 years, Wytham Abbey has welcomed esteemed visitors including Queen Elizabeth I, Oliver Cromwell, and Queen Victoria. In recent times, Effective Ventures utilized the abbey as a venue for discussions on pressing topics like the risks associated with artificial intelligence.

Financial Backing and Settlements

Despite financial support from Open Philanthropy, Effective Ventures also received financial support from the FTX Foundation, linked to Sam Bankman-Fried, who was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 25 years in prison. 

In response to the controversy, Effective Ventures settled with the FTX estate and returned the $26.8 million received from the foundation.

While, the listing of Wytham Abbey comes amid a cooling trend in the UK’s prime country house market, where prices have dipped by 5% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the previous year. 

As Wytham Abbey enters the market, listing agent Charles Elsmore-Wickens of Savills underscores the property’s uniqueness and potential value. Despite market challenges, sellers are optimistic about the property’s appeal and value in today’s market.

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