Country houses for sale

A 17th century home full of history, complete with medieval tower and outdoor pool

Warblington Castle isn't quite a castle any more, but it is a wonderful family home in Hampshire.

‘Who among us has never desired their own Grade II-listed castle tower?’ writes Country Life’s property editor James Fisher in the May 13 issue of the magazine. And so much the better, of course, is that medieval tower happens to come with a beautiful country house attached, and all within easy reach of London and the South Coast.

That is what’s for sale in the case of Warblington Castle near Havant in Hampshire, a perfect opportunity for a buyer looking for history, luxury and accessibility. It’s up for sale with Jackson-Stops at £2.45 million.

The history here is quite remarkable: previous owners include Warwick the King Maker and Margaret, Countess of Salisbury.

Not that they would recognise it: this beautiful home as it now stands has gone through various evolutions of the buildings over the centuries, and what stands now is a handsome, mainly 17th-century country house rebuilt from the Caen stone of a 16th-century fortified manor.

The main seven-bedroom house boasts exposed beams and stonework, as well as large corridors and landings that lead to well-proportioned living areas.

The gardens are a wonder, taking full advantage of the ruins of the former manor house that was demolished by the Roundheads during the English Civil War.

The central lawn boasts well-stocked borders planted around the remains of the castle and, to the south, you will find an orchard with pear and apple trees. To the east, a terrace is enclosed by an ornamental balustrade and leads to the swimming pool and stone-built pool house.

Warblington has been one of many houses hit by the ups and downs of the housing market over the past few years. It actually came to the market two years ago with a slightly higher price tag of £2.6m, but well-documented ups and downs of the mortgage market, Brexit, elections and now coronavirus mean that it remains looking for a first new owner in four decades.

The couple who are selling up, Tom and Diana Bishop, both rowed for Britain at the 1976 Montreal Olympics before settling here, and Mrs Bishop has spent a huge amount of time and effort restoring and improving their much-loved family home and its delightful gardens, as well as bringing up four lucky children in this enchanting spot. We can only imagine the fun they must have had playing in such a setting, and Mrs Bishop is hoping that a new family will enjoy this historic home just as much as hers have done.

Warblington Castle is for sale at £2.6 million via Jackson-Stops – see more details and pictures.