Reclusive ex-schoolteacher's house of wonders

Rosalind Winfield was a spinster, who lived alone in her Derbyshire home until she died of liver failure in 2007, when she was not yet 70.

Her remaining relative, a cousin in London, decided it was best to put the house and its contents up for auction.

The house, known as Kirkstyles in Duffield, sold for £1.2m.

But it was the contents that really surprised people.

The collection, which astonished assessors, included clothes, paintings, jewellery, furniture and antiques. There was such a range of items that they decided to have an open day for people to look around the house, parts of which resembled a cramped museum.

Over 2,500 people came to look around the house, which was well-known, though hardly anyone had been inside in recent years.

"It was all very orderly and Miss Winfield had kept the carpets, curtains and upholstery immaculate. It was so busy that we had to keep closing the house for five minutes every half hour to ensure we got the people through effectively." said Charles Hanson, a local auctioneer.

In total, the auction offered 820 lots.

A still life of fruit by Charles Archer from the sitting room sold for over £2,000.

An oil painting of a Hereford bull went for £4,750.

£5,000 was bid for a beautiful walnut bureau and a set of six Regency dining chairs sold for £700.

A_300_year old Royal Delft vase - used as a poker stand - sold for £2,600.

In total the auction fetched £115,000.

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