Fri Dec 06, 2019 London
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OPULENCE & SPLENDOUR

Luxury and the arts From houses to cars and from Hockney to van Dyck, a profile of the best and the worst

Pottery and drama

£3 million castle once owned by the Wedgewood family comes to the market

 

Robin MacDonald, the current owner of Caverswall Castle in Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire is a man once described as “having it all”. He’s also a man who plainly attracts drama and with the sale of his castle, a new chapter looms for his Grade I listed, moated home.

 

Built on the site of an Anglo-Saxon manor, the current 18,274 square foot Jacobean mansion was built on the site in about 1625 by Matthew Craddock, Mayor of Stafford. It has variously been a sanctuary to an order of Benedictine Nuns and the home of the Wedgewood family of porcelain manufacturers. MacDonald paid £2 million for the property, which sits in about 20 acres, in 2007 and has “spent many thousands more restoring the medieval marvel to its former glory”.

 

Caverswall Castle, Blythe Bridge Road, Caverswall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST11 9EA
Caverswall Castle, Blythe Bridge Road, Caverswall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST11 9EA
Robin MacDonald pictured with Caverswall Castle behind him
Robin MacDonald pictured with Caverswall Castle behind him

 

Primarily built from sandstone and three storeys in height, Caverswall Castle includes 11 bedroom suites, 6 further bedrooms, a library with a Wedgewood ceiling, 2 drawing rooms, 2 kitchens, a chapel, a billiards room and a games room. There are 3 converted turrets named after Sir Thomas More, Matthew Craddock and Sister Josephine and an orangery, converted gatehouse and even an old dungeon.

 

The White Drawing Room
The White Drawing Room
The dining room
The dining room
A paneled reception room
A paneled reception room
One of eleven bedroom suites
One of eleven bedroom suites
A view from the roof
A view from the roof
A view across the moat
A view across the moat

During his ownership of the historic building, MacDonald has used the castle as an events venue. In July 2013, a local newspaper named The Sentinel reported that he faced court action for “holding unauthorised events at the venue” without planning permission. MacDonald had been refused a retrospective planning application to hold weddings at the property in 2009. A company formed for this purpose, Caverswall Castle Limited, went into liquidation in March 2011 leaving 133 creditors some £940,690 out of pocket, the paper also reported.

 

In a separate incident in August 2008, The Sentinel also covered a story about a “drunken best man” named Thomas McMahon assaulting MacDonald at the castle during an event for a stag night. A Vauxhall Vectra was damaged in the incident and a stone boulder was kicked off a bannister of a staircase and MacDonald, whom “tackled McMahon”, suffered “blows to the head and a sprained wrist”.

 

In 2007, MacDonald asked Cosmopolitan magazine to offer “women the chance to try and entice him”. We are not sure whether he was successful or not but whomever buys Caverswall Castle – which is for sale through Strutt & Parker – will certainly get a castle that’s been the scene of much theatre.

 

 

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