Tichborne Park, situated in rolling Hampshire farmland, is the infamous seat that was the centre of the longest civil court cases in history.
In 1865, an imposter called Arthur Orton – better known nowadays as the ‘Tichborne Claimant’– attempted to convince the family into believing that he was the heir to the estate, some time after the true heir, Roger Tichborne had been lost at sea in 1854.
The family successfully defended the estate in what was, until recently, the longest civil court case in history.
But the house has another story attached. In the 12th century, Lady Mabella de Tichborne, requested that her husband should give the poor flour – or a Dole – of bread. Sir Roger Tichborne agreed, only to give the value of as much land as she could crawl around carrying a flaming torch.
After crawling around 23 acres, Lady Mabella put a curse on the house that if the Dole was ever stopped, a generation of 7 sons, followed by a generation of 7 daughters would end the family line. The custom was continued until 1794 when it was stopped due to over-popularity. There then ensued a generation of seven sons and then seven daughters. The Dole was reinstated and the practice of handing out the Tichborne Dole to parishioners continues to this day on March 25.
The five-bedroom apartment has a tennis court and use of the swimming pool and is being marketed for £6,850pcm through Carter Jonas in Winchester (01962 876838).