The action group Friends of Blencathra have not managed to purchase the iconic mountain.

'Saddleback' has been sold to a mystery buyer who bid more than the £1.75million asking price.

John Robson, Director of H and H Land and Property, who have been handling the sale, said: “We confirm that our client Lonsdale Settled Estate has instructed us to accept an offer which exceeds the guide price.

"The duty of the Estate is to accept best value and we are instructed to proceed with a sale based on this offer from an as yet unnamed party.

“Prior to reaching this decision we had discussions earlier today with representatives from ‘The Friends of Blencathra’.

"We have taken into account both their offer and the fact that there is a significant shortfall between this and the successful offer."

The mountain was put on the market to help cash-strapped Lord Lonsdale pay a £9million inheritance tax imposed after the death of his father in 2006.

The Lord, Hugh Lowther, has already sold a Turner painting for more than £1million. 

Debby Cosgrove, Chair of the Friends of Blencathra group, was unable to comment at this stage.