Dinton Castle was built to house the fossils stored in its walls. A recent renovation sees it as a perfectly appointed family home, ready to wow the next owners. Alexandra Fraser takes a look.
Everyone unfortunate enough to be in my vicinity for more than 35 minutes will be painfully aware that I have not yet given up my childhood dream of living in a castle. A recent visit to Belvoir and the generosity of Her Grace The Duchess of Rutland only fuelled the fire of my fairytale, hindered only by the contents of my pocket book.
Then I heard about Dinton Castle in Buckinghamshire and my hopes lifted up their head from where they had been cruelly dashed on the rocks of reality. Here was a castle, Grade II*-listed, not in the middle of nowhere and not over £2 million. It’s not even more than £1m, in fact: £675,000 is the asking price, via Michael Graham.
I’ll still never, ever be able to afford it at the current rate of progress but at least there’s a chance that at some point in the future, I could live in a building with turrets.
Originally a folly built in 1769 to house a fossil collection (which was stored in the folly walls), Dinton Castle was falling to pieces in 2016 when it was bought by Spanish Architect Fernandez for £100,000. Unsurprisingly, the restoration project – adding up to a further £300,000 – was caught up by Grand Designs in 2018. Far from smooth sailing, the project was delayed by the year it took to obtain planning permission.
Another twist to the tale halted progress once more; the discovery of bones in the surrounding earth, which lies close to a Saxon burial ground.
The castle is now on the market for £675,000, available to those unafraid of ancient warrior ghosts appearing in the middle of the night. Those who can push past that little detail will be gloriously happy with the results of their purchase.
Three quirky, octagonal floors rise from almost an acre of Waddesdon Estate countryside, which one can view in its fullest from the panoramic roof terrace. The building houses a sitting room, two en-suite bedrooms and a welcoming kitchen on the ground floor.
Jimmy and his family have loved living there, but with the arrival of their third child on the cards, it’s time to move on. We can only be envious of the next residents to grace this very special home.
Wanting a change of scene? Dan Y Castell, a gorgeous townhouse metres from the UK’s best high street in 2018,
Once an early warning system for a nearby American air base, The Water Tower is now the furthest possible thing
All of the benefits, none of the fuss; that's 4 Warren Lane offers as a wonderful house in the centre