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Five castles for sale

The economy in America and the UK is on the up , so we are told , and the property market has signs of improvement . We have found five castles for sale in the UK and America.

Hampton Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, UK, £12m
Near the village of Bodenham, about eight miles north of the cathedral city of Hereford, which has rail services into London Paddington and Euston. The nearest international airport is in Birmingham, 65 miles away. A recently restored, Grade I-listed, 15th-century castle with 26 bedrooms and 25 bathrooms, various state rooms, and a conservatory designed by Joseph Paxton, the architect of the Crystal Palace. The estate, which comprises about 935 acres, also includes a private chapel, a farm and six cottages. The estate was previously owned by Henry Bolingbroke, who became King Henry IV in 1399. He began construction of the castle before giving it to his courtier Roland Lenthall in the early 15th century.
Who Knight Frank, knightfrank.com, tel: +44 20 7629 8171
. . .

Caverswall Castle, Staffordshire, UK, £3m

Where On 20 acres near Stoke-on-Trent. Birmingham airport is 45 miles away.
What A 16-bedroom castle dating from 1275, when its then owner received a “licence to crenellate”, and rebuilt in 1615. The interiors, including drawing rooms, a library and billiard room, retain Jacobean carved wood panelling.
Why During its long history, the castle has been used as a garrison during the English civil war and a sanctuary for Benedictine nuns escaping the French Revolution. Features include a decorative ceiling added by the Wedgwood family, who lived in the house in the 1880s, a recently reinstated moat and a dungeon.
Who Sotheby’s International Realty, sothebysrealty.co.uk, tel: +44 1932 860537
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Woodstock Castle, Woodstock Connecticut, US, $39m

Just outside the town of Woodstock in rural Connecticut. Bradley international airport is about 45 miles away.
A neo-gothic castle completed in 2009 with nine bedrooms, 12 fireplaces and almost 19,000 sq ft of living space. Entertaining areas include a huge entry hall with a frescoed ceiling, heated outdoor decks and an auditorium with a raised stage.
Why No expense, or whimsy, was spared in the design of this castle, which comes complete with a moat and drawbridge, a turreted 126ft tower and stained-glass windows. The inlaid flooring and woodwork is made from 25 different species of imported hardwood.
Who Christie’s International Real Estate, christiesrealestate.com, tel: +1 860 887 1122
. . .
Castello Chianti, Tuscany, Italy, €9.5m

Castello Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
On a hilltop in the district of Greve in Chianti, close to village restaurants and shops. Florence airport is 35 minutes away by car.
A castle dating back to the 1300s, with 12 bedrooms and two hectares of grounds, plus a pool, tennis court and gym.
Original features include frescoes, painted coffered ceilings and terracotta floors, with an option to buy an adjacent vineyard.
Casa & Country, an affiliate of Aylesford International, casaandcountry.com, tel: +44 20 7351 2383

A nice Castello Chianti , as Hannibal Lecter might say ……
. . .

Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France, €4.75m

Where Near the city of Agen and about 90 minutes by car from Toulouse and Bordeaux, both of which have international airports.
What A 16th-century château with nine bedrooms, a guest house, pool and orangery, plus 75 acres of farmland, including a walnut grove.
Why The refurbished castle retains original features such as carved and painted wooden beams, parquet flooring, fireplaces and exposed stonework.

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Should Eilean Donan Castle be featured in Monopoly?

eilean donan castle 19 pictures, e-cards
Eilean Donan Castle e-cards

Board game Monopoly is published in a new Highlands version in October . The question is , what properties should feature in the new game ?  Eilean Donan Castle must surely qualify as an iconic building and the most photographed castle in Scotland . The publishers have decided to give the public a say and anyone can vote for their favourite location or landmark between now and April 2 nd . The famous board game, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year , will retain its usual format.

The ownership of property has historically been a controversial issue in the Highlands since the days of the clearances  and it is sure to cause heated debate when voting starts in Inverness.

More than 30 spots are up for grabs before the new game, in English and Gaelic, goes on sale. The Highlands have been described as the playground of the rich and famous with many well known personalities owning Scottish castles , including Mohammed al Fayed ( Balnagown Castle, Easter Ross ), Cameron Mackintosh , painter Jack Vettriano ( Easterheughs Castle )  and Peter de Savary ( the luxury Skibo Castle resort and the venue for Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s wedding ) . Many castles in the Highlands have been sold in recent years . Duncraig Castle was sold last year . Eilean Donan Castle has iconic status as one of the most photographed castles in Scotland . Urquhart Castle , on the shore of Loch Ness and its famous monster, should get serious consideration .

Other suggestions include the Glenfinnan Monument , Inverness Castle, the Cairngorm ski centre, Ben Nevis and the iconic Caledonian Canal . MSP Peter Peacock  nominated Assynt in Sutherland,  bought by crofters from private owners, to replace the prestigious Mayfair.

Maybe Highland Monopoly should feature Sabhal Mor Ostaig, the Gaelic college in Skye, as part of a Gaelic element. It could not be bought and sold, but anyone landing on it would have to learn at least one new Gaelic word in order to be able to move forward again.

A board spokeswoman said: “Gaelic is very much a part of the identity of the Highlands and its place names and we suggest areas such as Culloden and iconic structures such as the Glenfinnan Viaduct”

Cameron Mackintosh’s pocket castle is on the shore of Loch Nevis .The building commands the point between Tarbet Bay and the main loch, midway between the two tiny villages of Tarbet and Kylesmorar, looking due west to the distant Cuillin mountains on the Isle of Skye. Inaccessible by car,  it is pretty difficult scrambling miles over the headlands by foot.  Mackintosh had bought himself some abandoned estate lodge in this remote spot, perhaps last extended by an Edwardian laird, and spared no expense in bringing it back to life.

Does Eilean Donan Castle qualify as an iconic building in the Highlands . Vote now in our online poll

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15 Scottish castles for sale

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