A DERELICT mansion has been named as one of the most endangered buildings in the country after being allowed to go to rack and ruin.

The once beautiful building, near Rotherfield in East Sussex, has been included on a list compiled by national architecture charity the Victorian Society on its 2018 Top ten Endangered Buildings List.

The list exposes the plight of Victorian and Edwardian buildings at risk in the hope that increased awareness and appreciation will help to save them.

The mysterious mansion with sprawling grounds is hidden by thick woodland on all sides.

The former Legat’s School of Ballet is a Grade II-listed Victorian mansion and was built by architects George Goldie and EW Pugin in 1865 as St Michael’s Orphanage for Girls and was paid for by a donation from the Duchess of Leeds.

It was run by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus and was part of a pair, with the boys’ orphanage just four miles away at Mayfield.

After being the base for the ballet school, in the early 1990s it was bought by the charity Jameah Islameah and run as an Islamic school.

It was raided by police in 2006 on the suspicion that it was being used as a training camp for terrorists.

Since the school closed in 2007 it has remained unused and is beginning to show signs of disrepair.

Christopher Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said: “So much of the building’s detail is shrouded in mystery as access is so difficult. But it is a beautiful building in large grounds and has amazing potential for reuse.”