Talks behind the scenes on ancient manor sale

Expert conference announces list of keynote speakers

Three mystery bidders have come forward to buy 'Portsmouth's oldest house'.

Wymering Manor, owned by Portsmouth City Council and reputed to be the site of the oldest home in the city, was up for sale last week.

But for the third time this year it failed to sell - even though the council dropped the price by almost 100,000 to just 280,000.

But three bidders have come forward in the wake of the auction and are negotiating a price.

It is a last-gasp attempt to make a sale - there will be no fourth auction.

Auctioneer Rob Marchant, negotiating on behalf of Portsmouth City Council, said he had to keep the names of the potential buyers confidential.

He said: 'If an offer isn't forthcoming at an acceptable price the council may decide not to sell, but I'm confident we can achieve a deal.'

He added there were several more viewings of the ancient manor house scheduled to take place today, for other interested buyers.

The council said it will discuss the offers in January.