Real Estate

A castle home that comes with a lordship for sale in Lancashire

If you’ve always dreamed of living in a grand historic castle but aren’t up for the hassle of conserving the whole thing, this part share option might be the answer for you

And for those who want a title thrown in to the mix this three-bedroom apartment in Thurland Castle also comes with a Lordship.

The main wing of the Grade II-listed castle, the Thurland Wing,  is for sale through Davis & Bowring for £1.1 million.

On the edge of the village of Tunstall and nestled between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, the property is set in 10 acres of grounds that Charlotte Brontë, the author of Jane Eyre, regularly walked through.

The Thurland Wing boasts a spacious drawing room that was once the castle’s ballroom, with a Carrara marble fireplace and ornate Arts and Crafts tiles, which would have impressed art critic John Ruskin when he visited the house.

This spectacular room also features a mullion bay window with window seat, overlooking the surrounding parkland.

A second window overlooks the rose garden, while the ceiling features decorative plasterwork and a chandelier.

There is a smaller sitting room on the same floor, which offers a cosier family space, and also boasts a fireplace.

A study, downstairs bathroom and handcrafted kitchen featuring a lantern skylight and Aga.

Upstairs, a spacious master bedroom is fitted with a four-poster bed and lots of storage space.

There are a further two bedrooms on this floor, both with en-suite bathrooms and period fireplaces, as well as fitted furniture.

An enclosed staircase leads to the second floor of this unique property and opens out to a large, light and airy room with multiple uses. This space can be used as an office, games room, gym or cinema room.

Included in the sale of the Thurland Wing is a rose garden and terrace overlooking the castle’s moat, which provide ideal spaces for outside entertaining in the summer months, plus a double garage and private parking space.

The 10 acres of spectacular grounds surrounding the castle and its seven properties include a tree-lined drive, tennis court and a moat, further adding to the castle’s unique qualities.

Maria Partington, who runs the sales and marketing for Thurland Castle, says the houses are popular with those looking for their second or third homes. A number of buyers looking for a holiday home, she adds, have liked living within the castle grounds so much that they’ve used it as a main residence.

Maria says the ideal buyer would be someone who is downsizing and looking for a period property without taking on a lot of work — the grounds are currently looked after by an on-site gardener.

“The property would suit someone who would appreciate the history and the grandeur of Thurland Castle.”


The Thurland Wing’s spacious drawing room was once the castle’s ballroom

“The castle dates back to the 11th century when the Vikings came,” Maria adds. “There is evidence over the doors which dates the stones back to that time.”

“It was also the last royal stronghold in the 1500s when Oliver Cromwell came to raze it to the ground.”

“It’s a pretty unique property for someone to want to buy. It’s ideal for downsizing.”

A historic home

Thurland Castle, which retains its original dry moat, was built in the 11th century by Sir Thomas Tunstall but was almost completely destroyed during the Civil War by Oliver Cromwell’s troops.

In 1809, the North family took on the restoration of the castle, with the help of Sir Jeffrey Wyatt, nephew to Windsor Castle architect James Wyatt. 

Charlotte Brontë frequently visited the house on her way to and from church while she was studying nearby in Leck.

Most of the restoration work was destroyed in a fire in 1876 before an industrial family, the Lees, bought it in 1885 and made more changes inspired by John Ruskin.

It was recently converted and is now home to seven apartments, each with a share of the property’s 999-year lease.

It should be mentioned that although one of the benefits of not owning an entire castle is not having to employ a retinue of staff, upkeep on the building and the grounds is an expensive business, meaning that maintenance fees are £1,600 a quarter.

However, would-be owners do have a say in the future of the castle and grounds because they are automatically given a place on the estate management team.

Although no teams of archers defend the castle from the battlements today, access is defended from unwanted guests by secure electric gates. 


Large windows overlook the surrounding parkland

The nearby village of Tunstall has a couple of pubs, while Kirkby Lonsdale is a pretty market town with plenty of shops.

Should you wish to escape your literary enclave in the countryside, the M6 is 15-minute drive, while Lancaster is just 12 miles away from where trains to Euston take just two and a half hours.

The Thurland Wing is for sale for £1.1 million. Through Davis & Bowring.

The library wing

Another property within the castle grounds previously came up for sale in 2017.

The four-bedroom, duplex apartment in Thurland Castle was on the market for £1.275m.

The apartment, aptly named The Library, covers over 5,000sq ft and includes a secret spiral staircase from the library room to the dining room, while the castle’s original silver store lies behind a cast-iron door.

As well as the shared grounds, which include a tennis court, the apartment has a wraparound terrace with wonderful views of the grounds and is spacious enough for grand al fresco dinner parties.

Downstairs lies a modern fitted kitchen, a 24ft morning room with window seating and a door to the terrace, a 32ft dining room complete with marble fireplace and a utility room. A ground-floor bedroom overlooks the courtyard.

A grand staircase takes you to the property’s most talked about feature — the 37ft by 34ft library and drawing room, complete with floor-to-ceiling bookcases, stained-glass windows, chandeliers and two bay windows from where you can read in peace overlooking the grounds.


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