Country houses for sale

A castle in the Cotswolds that could pass as a backdrop from Downton Abbey

Beverston Castle is a grade-I listed castle which looks like the sort of place you'd see on a glossy costume drama.

It’s not often that the key building at the heart of a £10 million property is uninhabitable. Yet that is the case at the Beverston Castle estate, a few miles outside Tetbury in Gloucestershire, where the Grade I-listed castle itself — which dates to the 13th century — is little more than a shell.

It’s a very handsome shell indeed, however, the sort of place you’d expect to see used as a backdrop for some sort of potential future movie or TV drama re-boot. No doubt the producers of Brideshead Re-Revisited and Return to Downton Abbey already have it on their radar.

While the castle itself has been uninhabitable for several hundred years, the surrounding buildings are perfectly charming, not to mention numerous. This 693-acre Cotswolds estate has a 17th century house with seven bedrooms as its primary residence, but also includes five more cottages, each as charmingly pretty as the last.

Much of the estate — 615 acres — is productive arable land and pasture, with most of the rest made up of woodland. There are also barns, stables, offices and all manner of other associated buildings.

The vendors and their agents, Savills, will split the estate into three should the right combination of buyers and desires line up together, but we’ve a feeling that this estate — full of potential, in residential, farming and sporting  terms — may well be kept together. After all, just last week Clive Hopkins of Knight Frank told Country Life how they have a list of prospective buyers who are simply waiting for a fetching property within a couple of hours of London.

Beverston certainly fits that bill, and indeed its accessibility is probably what has kept the place on the map for thousands of years. There is clear evidence of Roman settlement in the village, but historians believe that the area had been settled long before.

Beverstone Castle as it appeared in 1732

Beverstone Castle as it appeared in 1732

It has been fought-over many times: notably during the Anarchy of Stephen and the English Civil War. The castle as it then stood was damaged in the latter, and a later fire — in 1691 — left it more or less in its current state.

The ups and downs of Beverston continue; it’s been up for sale for a few months now, seeking the right owner to take on a place that brings with it the best part of a thousand years of history. No doubt once the uncertainty that has descended upon the nation clears a little, things will move forward.

Beverston Castle estate is for sale via Savills at £10m for the whole, but may be split in to three lots — see more details and pictures.