12th century castle and romantic ruin in Herefordshire for sale for £1.495 million; a title to go with it is available also
A part restored castle on the English-Welsh border is back on the market after its buyer pulled out at the end of last year. Wilton Castle-on-the-Wye at at Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire’s story somewhat echoes that of the fictional castle in the 1949 novel I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith – adapted to a film starring Bill Nighy and Henry Cavill in 2003 – and now, it presents an opportunity for someone wanting to own either a truly unique private home or somewhere to create a most romantic boutique hotel and events venue.
Now offered for £1.495 million ($1.94 million, €1.77 million or درهم7.12 million) and providing a total of 4,036 square foot of internal accommodation, Wilton Castle-on-the-Wye dates to the 12th century but was largely destroyed in the English Civil War (1642 – 1651).
Subsequently abandoned until 1731, when bought by the trustees of Guy’s Hospital, the castle was bought by the legendary retail and property magnate Sir Charles Clore (1904 – 1979) in 1961 and then restored from 2002 onwards. It includes elements of architecture from the Norman, Tudor, Elizabethan, Georgian and Victorian periods and is Grade I listed Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Standing in 2 acres of gardens, primarily within the rampart walls themselves, the castle house comprises of 4 reception rooms, a galleried former chapel, 2 kitchens, 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. There are three original towers (out of the five originally built inside a now dry moat) and whilst two are already back in use, the third, ‘The Great Tower’ could potentially be converted to provide 3 bedroom suites, a new glass entrance and a drawbridge.
In March, of his eccentric home, current owner Alan Parslow told the Evening Standard: “It was a bit of a wreck when we bought it, but after ten years of restorations it’s a lovely family home. We’ve loved living here. It’s a delight to wake up to, surrounded by history”.
Of the future, Parslow added: “We haven’t enough money or time to do The Great Tower up so we’d like to pass it on to someone else”.
Previously, his wife, Sue, was interviewed by The Ross Gazette about the sale. She remarked: “It is quite different from other ruined castles as it is really a garden around a castle”.
Curiously, an unconnected Irish castle of the same name, Wilton Castle in County Wexford has had a similarly chequered history. Built first in 1247, expanded into a mansion in 1847 and burnt to the ground in 1923, this vast landmark has, like its Ross-on-Wye namesake been subject of a major renovation project since 2004 by its owners, farmers Seán and Antoinette Windsor.