If you’re after a home with history, a castle’s hard to beat, but make sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for.
"Castles are the ultimate status symbol and there is no better dream for architectural nuts and the upwardly mobile," says Roarie Scarisbrick, partner at property buying advisor Property Vision.
"Buyers beware though, castles were definitely not built for comfort or practicality and will cost a king’s ransom to run. You might own a piece of British history and an exceptional party venue, but you will need very deep pockets and warm clothes to live there."
Undeterred? Then take a look at this collection of castles that are currently for sale.
1. Callaly Castle, Alnwick, Northumberland. £625,000
The Library House is a sizeable chunk of Callaly Castle, which dates from the 17th century, incorporates a 14th century tower and was divided into seven wings in the 1980s. It’s laid out over three floors and includes one of the building’s principal staircases and the original library, now a drawing room, and a mezzanine level with a dining room and study. There are four bedrooms, two bathrooms and 27 acres of shared gardens and woodlands to explore. For sale through Knight Frank.
2. Llantwit Castle, Llantwit Major, Vale Of Glamorgan. £899,950
Rescued and lovingly restored by the current owner, this 500-year old castle is a manageable size and rather cosy inside. The studded front door opens into a kitchen/dining room with flagstone floors and an electric Aga, and woodburning stoves have been installed in the drawing room and master bedroom. One of the other two bedrooms is accessed via a spiral staircase and has a vaulted ceiling and far reaching views towards the Bristol Channel, and there’s a grassy walled garden and paddock. More than half the castle is still a ruin, with potential to be converted into extra accommodation, but a project of this magnitude isn’t for the faint-hearted. Find out more by contacting Savills.
3. Orchardton Castle, Auchencairn, Dumfries & Galloway. Offers over £1.7m
Complete with towers, turrets, spires and a wealth of period details such as wood panelling, ceiling plasterwork and huge bay windows, this is a magnificent example of a Scottish baronial-style castle. A love of housework and gardening is an advantage as there are more than 40 rooms, 30 working fireplaces, 15 bathrooms and five acres to keep pristine, though with 20 bedrooms you might consider hiring live-in staff. Alternatively, you could make the castle pay its way by turning it into a boutique hotel or hiring it out as a wedding venue. It’s for sale through Fine & Country.
4. Lullingstone Castle, Eynsford, Kent. £1.75m
The substantial self-contained South Wing of an ancient castle that dates back to the Domesday Book and has been home to the same family since the 15th century. Both King Henry VIII and Queen Anne visited regularly, and the current Queen’s wedding and coronation robes were spun from silk produced from a farm in the grounds. The property is arranged over three floors and includes a vast drawing room with panelled walls looking out over the castle’s lake, six bedrooms, four bathrooms and three reception rooms. However it needs updating, giving the new owners the opportunity to put their own stamp on it. You can get further details from Knight Frank.
5. Careston Castle, Brechin, Angus. Offers over £2.9m
Total privacy’s a given here as Careston Castle lies at the heart of a 345-acre estate, and is surrounded by mature woodland and beautiful gardens. Behind the grand red sandstone façade you’ll find a very comfortable – and very large - family home, with the main rooms arranged over the first and second floors. They comprise a drawing room, dining room, sitting room, library, study and six bedrooms, along with an abundance of period features including panelled walls, stone and timber floors, and intricately carved fireplaces that are regarded as some of the finest examples of stonework in Scotland. Outbuildings and three estate cottages are included. Available through Savills.
6. Otterburn Castle, Otterburn, Newcastle upon Tyne. £3m
Otterburn Castle can trace its roots back to the 11th century, and was owned by aristocratic families for many centuries before being turned into a hotel in the 1940s. However a buyer with vision, ambition and sufficient funds might prefer to restore it into the most spectacular home. With 17 ensuite bedrooms and nine reception rooms, there’s more than enough room to put up relatives and friends, and plenty to keep them occupied as the castle has 32 acres of land, sits on the edge of the Northumberland National Park and enjoys fishing rights on the River Rede. Available through UK Sotheby's International Realty.
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