Country houses for sale

An entire wing up for sale at a castle in Kent where Henry VII was a regular visitor, and where lawn tennis was born

The south wing at Lullingstone Castle presents a unique opportunity to put your stamp on an historic property with the added bonus of claiming a castle as your address.

Not everyone can claim they live in castle — up until now it’s mostly been princesses guarded by flame-breathing dragons, royalty and probably a good few thousand mice.

However, all that is about to change as Knight Frank have recently launched onto the market the south wing of Lullingstone Castle for sale with a guide price £1.75 million. It’s a healthy figure nonetheless,  but one which does make fairytale dreams that bit more attainable.

The property in question is a six-bedroom, 5,500 sq ft apartment set over three floors in the south wing of the castle. It’s an exciting prospect with plenty of space to play with — both indoors and outdoors —  as it’s surrounded by glorious established gardens, a 16th century church and a 15 acre lake.

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Inside, the interiors need significant work, but the rooms have fantastic foundations from which to start updates — elegantly sized, plenty of natural light, original period features and views over the gardens and lake.

It also boats a children’s bedroom that is… well, let’s just say that if your adorable offspring don’t get excited about period features and natural light, they sure to be won over by this:

There is also a self-contained one-bed flat within the south wing, formerly known as the Bakehouse, with access out to the central courtyard.

Lullingstone Castle is believed to date back to the time of the Domesday book and has remained in the same family since the 15th century. The current structure was built in 1543 with further updates carried out throughout the 18th century — including the addition of the south wing.

There are some impressive claims that will no doubt form the basis of many a future dinner party at the apartment; its current owners believe the residence has been featured in Country Life more than once — most recently in 2011 — and both Henry VII and Queen Anne were regular visitors  according to the castle’s history.

Intriguingly, the castle also lays a claim as the home of lawn tennis — and though it’s far from the only claim out there, there’s little doubt that it was critical in the codifying of the rules. The castle’s owner in the 1870s was Sir William Hart Dyke, a keen real tennis player, and in 1873 he played a famed game of lawn tennis at the house with two leading lights of the game, John Heathcote and Julian Marshall. Within a couple of years the trio had drawn up an official set of rules for the game under the auspices of the MCC, which still ran the sport. Those rules are largely unchanged from the game as it is today.

Surrounding the castle is The World Garden which opens to the public and was established by Tom Hart Dyke as an homage to Victorian and Edwardian plant hunters who travelled globally and returned with many exotic plants.

The South Wing of Lullingstone Castle is currently for sale with a guide price of £1.75 million — see more pictures, or enquire with the agent for further details. 

Lullingstone: What you need to know

Location: Just north of Sevenoaks in Kent, with links to the M25 and train connections to London Bridge, Charing Cross and Canon Street.

Atmosphere: The small village is well known for its castle, Roman Villa and golf course. There are a number of shops and facilities within the village with further amenities in nearby Sevenoaks.

Things to do: Explore your own back garden — literally, with the World Garden. Lullingstone Country Park is also an expansive area to explore. There is plenty of history to immerse yourself in, whether its the 16th century church within the grounds (which have some of the oldest stained glass windows in England) or the Roman Villa.

Schools: Plenty of reputable ones in the area including Sevenoaks School, Tonbridge School, Trinity School and The New Beacon.

See more property for sale in the area.

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