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Don't just visit Hampton Court - buy your very own in the Herefordshire countryside

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 19, 2014

  • Hampton Court, an historic castle with 26 bedrooms and almost 1,000 acres in Herefordshire has been put up for sale for a huge £12 million

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An historic castle with 26 bedrooms and almost 1,000 acres has been put up for sale for £12 million.

Hampton Court is a Grade I listed, 15th century fortified manor house in the Herefordshire countryside.

It was built on the site of King Henry IV's former home and is thought to be Britain's largest medieval manor.

The ground floor flows round the central courtyard with a series of imposing state rooms including a magnificent 19th century banqueting hall.

There is a 15th century private chapel, ballroom, library, dining room and galleried hall and a conservatory designed by Joseph Paxton, the man behind the Crystal Palace.

In total, the main house boasts 26 bedrooms and 25 bathrooms while there is additional accommodation in the form of two farmhouses and six cottages.

Hampton Court, like its Royal namesake, is currently open to the public and is used as a wedding venue.

But the current owners have decided to sell up and its whopping price tag makes it one of the most expensive homes for sale outside London.

Knight Frank, the estate agency given the job of selling Hampton Court, described the estate as being of "significant historical importance".

Whoever buys the estate will get 935 acres of land and a number of additional outbuildings.

The main house is the star though, sitting at the end of a long entrance drive approached through an impressive entrance arch with its original castle door.

It has spectacular gardens, including a maze, which are currently open from April until October each year.

There is an 18th century stone staircase reputed to be the longest cantilevered staircase in the country, having been built for a visit by King William of Orange. To the east of the castle is a courtyard with conference rooms, Old Brew House, laundry, ice cream parlour, store rooms and rest rooms.

Will Matthews, from Knight Frank Country, said: "Hampton Court is an entirely unique sale. Its fairytale castle features, magical gardens with about 60,000 visitors a year, and massive commercial potential will attract a diverse range of buyers. It's an opportunity which does not come up very often."

The estate was originally formed by the merging of the manors of Hampton Richard and Hampton Mappenor.

It was granted by Henry IV to Sir Rowland Lenthall at the time of his marriage to Margaret Fitzalan, daughter of the Earl of Arundel and a cousin of the King.

Sir Rowland built the original quadrangular manor house in 1427, 12 years after his knighthood at the battle of Agincourt. In 1434 he was granted a licence to fortify the house by Henry VI.

Sir Rowland was succeeded by his daughter, who married the Baron of Burford and it was their grandson who sold Hampton Court to Sir Humphrey Coningsby in 1510.

Hampton Court remained in the Coningsby family, a prominent noble Herefordshire family, until the early 19th century when the estate was purchased by Richard Arkwright, the son of the famous inventor and entrepreneur behind the great weaving factories of the Industrial Revolution.

Richard Arkwright's son, John, then comissioned the remodelling of the house in the 1830s and 40s, the work being designed and carried out by Charles Hanbury Tracy, later Lord Sudeley.

The Arkwrights lived at Hampton Court until 1912.

Hampton Court, with the cottages and farm, is available as one package for £12 million.

This is 70 times more expensive than the average price paid each month for a home in England and Wales.

But it is cheaper than some of the two-bedroom flats found in extremely wealthy areas such as Mayfair and Knightsbridge in London.

However, the estate can be split into five separate lots, although the breakdown of prices have not been disclosed.

The biggest 'estate' sale of 2014 so far is Shakenhurst, on the Worcestershire and Shropshire borders, which was sold by Knight Frank for around £16 million.

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