It might seem borderline outrageous to liken a house – any house – to the great French royal palace at Versailles. But this vast home close to New York City does make a decent attempt at justifying the billing, as Annunicata Elwes explains.

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A country escape for a railroad magnate, ‘praised by architectural enthusiasts as the American Versailles’, say agents, the indomitable Darlington is only 25 miles from New York, in Mahwah, New Jersey, in 12 acres of grounds, framed by mountains.

It covers 50,000sq ft of spectacularly lavish living space that, although modelled on a typical English castle, incorporates a number of different historical eras – for our money, Jay Gatsby springs to mind more readily than Louis XIV. 

The 58-room pad – the real Versailles has over 700, for what it’s worth – overlooks the Ramapo Valley and has just benefited from a seven-year restoration by a skilled team that includes the wood carvers who enhanced the Italian Parliament and the Big Apple’s Ritz-Carlton and Waldorf-Astoria.

Picture: Christie's

Its extravagant features are too numerous to list, but among them is a 15ft-high mural and a his-and-hers master-bedroom wing – yes, an entire wing.

There’s also a great hall with a 30ft-high ceiling, wine cellar, cigar room, beauty salon, theatre, eight-car garage, pool, tennis court and, of course, a luxury spa with lap pool, steam room and sauna, massage and exercise rooms.

The Crocker Mansion in Mahwah, New Jersey, a 55,000 square foot single family home built by architect James Brite in 1908. It is on the National Register of Historic Places. Constructed of Indiana limestone and Harvard brick, the home is also named "Darlington."

Darlington is for sale via Christie’s International Real Estate – price on application, you can see more details and pictures here.


Three more beautiful properties for sale in Mahwah

Mahwah – £3.3m

A stone and shingle style house on the Ramapo River, built with no expense spared. The views are breathtaking and extraordinary.

For sale with Christie’s International Real Estate. See more pictures and details about this property.


Mahwah – £4.25m

An all-granite colonial manor with 21,000 sq ft of space in a gated, two-acre lot in Mahwah’s Rio Vista community. ‘Built like a bank vault,’ the agents say – and this palatial home was designed for grand scale.

For sale with Sotheby’s International Realty. See more pictures and details about this property.


Mahwah – £850,000

A four-bedroom home designed to take full advantage of the views across 26 magnificent acres of New Jersey which are included in the sale – and all within easy reach of New York.

For sale with Sotheby’s International Realty. See more pictures and details about this property.