Historic castle goes on sale for £2.5m
A castle built on top of ruins of a former Royal household once dubbed ‘the most gorgeous in Christendom’ has gone on the market for £2.5million.
Devizes Castle in Wiltshire was once owned by the Crown for around 500 years after it was claimed by King Stephen of Blois in the 1130s.
The Grade I-listed building has lots of period features, such as castellations, turrets, stone mullioned windows, impressive fireplaces and oak floors.
It was passed down through the Royal family over the years and was frequently visited by monarchs including King John, Henry III and Edward I, while Henry VIII gifted it to his first wife Catherine of Aragon, although it was later reclaimed after their divorce.
A historic castle, pictured, in Devizes, Wiltshire, has gone on the market for £2.5million and boasts almost 10,000 sq ft of accommodation, turrets, oak floors, fireplaces and views of the English countryside. The property was built in the 1840s and stands on top of ruins of a former Royal household that was passed down through kings and queens for 500 years from the 1130s until 1648 when it was dismantled in the English Civil War
The property is built on top of another castle that was owned by Royal families for around 500 years. It was originally claimed by King Stephen of Blois in the 1130s and was lived in by his ally Roger, Bishop of Salisbury. Pictured is one of the impressive sitting rooms including a large fireplace
Royals to visit the original castle include King John and Henry III and it became a popular destination for monarchs. The Royal castle was itself built on top of another ruin, as the first ever stronghold built on the same spot in 1080 by Osmond, Bishop of Salisbury, burned down in 1113. Pictured is a dining room with a huge table and a chandelier
The old castle eventually passed to Henry VIII, who gave it to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, but later reclaimed it after they divorced. Before it was claimed by King Stephen of Blois it also served as a political prison for important captives, including Robert Curthose, eldest son of William the Conqueror, who was kept there by his younger brother Henry after losing out on the throne to him. Pictured is the kitchen which features an island and all the mod cons
The heritage of the current property has not been forgotten with the historic archways, pictured, and battlements while there are event suits of armour as decorations (pictured). The current building was designed by Henry Goodridge, a 19th Century architect who designed several churches and chapels in south west England including the chapel at Downside Abbey in Somerset
The view from the top turret of the castle offers a great panoramic glimpse at Devizes, pictured, including lush green trees, homes in the distance and a nearby church
The castle was then destroyed in 1648 during the English Civil War, three years after loyalist troops were defeated in a siege by Parliamentarians.
A new castle was built on the site in the 1840s as a private home, and has since been split into two, with the larger property on the market with Savills.
Devizes Castle is steeped in history and dates to 1080 when a motte and bailey castle was built by the Bishop of Salisbury.
The castle was burnt down in 1113 and rebuilt in stone during King Henry I’s reign and became a popular residence for the monarchy after that, described as ‘the most gorgeous in Christendom’.
All that remains of the original structure now is its mound, the outline of the moat and traces of the foundations of the great hall.
All that remains of the original castle is the outline of the moat and the foundations of the original great hall, pictured. The north tower incorporates the remains of a 17th-century brick windmill. The larger part of the castle was previously sold for £2million in 2010 and was rented out as a holiday home
The original property was destroyed during the English Civil War in 1648 by Parliamentary order. It had been seized by the Roundhead army three years earlier after a short siege led by Oliver Cromwell, with the Royalists surrendering after the building was damaged by enemy bombardments. Pictured is one of the hallways which also has a fireplace
The current castle, pictured, was built in the 1840s as a private home, and has since been split into two households, both in private ownership and both not open to the public despite its rich history. During the Second World War the building was also used as a Prisoner of War camp for Italian captives
The castle offers views of the stunning English countryside around Devizes, pictured, which is a market town that came into being because people flocked to live near the fortress
The Victorian Gothic-style home, pictured, features beautiful terraces along with its stone walls and mullioned windows
The property includes an entrance hall, inner hall, kitchen/breakfast room, family room, dining room, library, study, long gallery, drawing room, fernery, nine bedrooms and five bathrooms
Extensive floor plans, pictured, show how the castle has a library, study, wine cellar, entrance hall and courtyard all on the first two floors
On the upper level the plans, pictured, show how most of the space is reserved for bedrooms and a large bathroom, with two of the bedrooms located in the towers
The existing castellated property was built 200 years later by the Leach family in a Victorian Gothic style and was used in the Second World War as an Italian POW camp.
From Royal household to political prison: Who were the important occupants of Devizes Castle?
The original Devizes Castle was built by the Bishop of Salisbury in 1080 but burned down in 1113 and was rebuilt in stone by allies of King Henry I.
It was claimed by King Stephen of Blois when he ascended to the throne in the 1130s and then passed down through subsequent ruling families.
The castle was a popular destination to visit for monarchs, but was also used as a prison by both Henry II and Henry III to keep prominent enemies in.
Henry III spent some of his youth at the castle when he was left their by father King John under the care of its governor.
Edward I also visited the castle when he ventured to the south west and it eventually passed to Henry VIII, who gifted it to first wife Catherine of Aragon, although he reclaimed it after their divorce.
It then passed to the Stuarts until it was taken in the English Civil War and destroyed in 1648.
The castle was rebuilt as a private home in 1840, and was later used as a POW camp for Italians during the Second World War.
The property is spread over five storeys, with most of the accommodation on the ground, first and second floors, but it also has a cellar and two tower rooms on the third floor.
It offers 9,117 sq ft of accommodation with an entrance hall, inner hall, kitchen/breakfast room, family room, dining room, library, study, long gallery, drawing room, fernery, nine bedrooms and five bathrooms.
The house is surrounded by beautiful gardens and offers seclusion with mature trees at the front and the castle’s ramparts at the back.
It sits on the edge of the picturesque market town of Devizes, which formed around the original castle’s outskirts.
The castle has views over rolling countryside on one side and over the town in the other direction.
George Nares from Savills said: ‘The castle is very imposing and impressive and this property is the principle part, it’s just the South Tower that is separate.
‘Naturally it will appeal to a history lover, but I think it will also have to be someone quite fun.
‘You have the benefit of the history and nature of it being a castle but at the same time it also has wonderfully proportioned rooms, which lends itself extremely well to modern family living, which is rare in a castle.
‘It’s also great for entertaining, with high ceilings and wonderful cornicing and carvings.
‘It has that sense of fun of a castle too – spiral staircases leading up to tower bedrooms – it’s very magical.
‘Because it was built partly on the old motte and bailey castle, it’s on top of a hill with beautiful views over Devizes itself and open countryside.
‘It’s a rare opportunity.’
The building sits on the edge of the picturesque market town of Devizes, which formed around the original castle’s outskirts. Pictured are huge double doors leading into an entrance hall
George Nares of Savills said the castle, pictured, was ‘very imposing and impressive’ which would appeal to a ‘history lover’
Pictured: The Kennet & Avon Canal in Devizes. The town has a rich history of manufacturing and became known for its textiles in the 16th Century. By the early 18th century it held the largest corn market in the West Country. In the 18th century, brewing, curing of tobacco, and snuff-making were established
The site was originally home to a motte and bailey castle built by the Bishop of Salisbury in 1080 only to burn down and be rebuilt in stone. Pictured is the turrets of the current structure
The canal, pictured, fully opened in 1810, was a key route through the town, while it was also used as a coaching stop. Devizes previously had a railway station but it closed in 1966
The castle, pictured, also has spiral staircases leading to five storeys with almost 10,000 sq ft of accommodation