Historic Houses Association President, the Earl of Leicester, raised the threat at the association's annual meeting as the campaign is stepped up for a replacement.
At issue is the 'one estate election', which has since 1963 enabled some owners to balance the cost of maintaining their pile against the income from their estate.
But it was not `targeted' or limited to those admitting the public and is being withdrawn by April 2001. The Treasury has already rejected alternative proposals from the association, which is studying further proposals.
The Earl fears the withdrawal of the concession will mean some owners will have to sell, with the risk of their contents being dispersed and their new proprietors being unwilling to admit the public.
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