News this week is that Highclere Castle, the set of Downton Abbey, has been listed for one night on Airbnb for one lucky winner in the lead-up to the movie’s release has reignited our interest in these posh, and sometimes historical, structures. Forget that whole one-winner, one-night thing. Why not rule your own royal grounds for a lifetime?!
We have a few suggestions.
Seton Castle, which Savills calls, “one of Scotland’s most significant and ravishing buildings, with eight centuries of history” and “undeniably one of Robert Adam’s finest achievements,” is located close to Edinburgh. The Neoclassical, 13-bedroom stone castle was built in 1789 and has been fully restored. “A two year long restoration saw a team of expert stonemasons, stone by stone, and using painstakingly sourced period sandstone and limestone, rebuild the castle’s many chimneys and turrets as well as the sweeping rooftop parapets,” they said.
Everything from the ceilings to the ironwork to the dumbwaiter to the 10,000-bottle wine cellar was reimagined. In addition, the castle was “sensitively and richly refurbished to fit today’s world, including the installation of a full security system, creation of a state of the art gym, playroom, huge double AGA kitchen, magnificent silk-lined dining room, extensive billiard room, traditional olde world bar, cinema, guest cottages, apartments and helipad.”
The opulent estate is surrounded by 13 acres of private gardens and parkland, and includes the main seven-bedroom castle, two cottages and an additional guest suite, plus working stables, a coach house, and, the piece de resistance: “the characterful Stable Bar—the castle’s authentic private tavern, situated in the original tack room of the stable block.”
That’s a pub. Well worth the nearly $10 million price tag, if you ask us.
It’s Under the Tuscan Sun come to life! Check out this eye-popping castle in the Tuscan hills. Imagine spending afternoons exploring the Renaissance art of Florence and returning home, just minutes away, to your historic castle. Dating back to the 12th and 13th century, this architectural masterpiece is ensconced in the verdant Tuscan hills and surrounded by vineyards, with ample grounds that include the “castle itself, and its own hamlet,” which also features its chapel.
“Characteristic elements such as stone facade, enclosed courtyards, watch towers, battlements, arched windows, loggias, and porches are found in this prestigious building. Even the interior of this castle for sale in Tuscany exceeds your wildest expectations, featuring arched ceilings, ancient cotto-tiled floors, antique fireplaces, period furnishings and furniture accented by valuable stone finishes. All these elements harmoniously underline the intrinsic nobility of the place and cause the memory and imagination to wonder.”
In Morocco, a castle is more properly referred to as a palace, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing. Palace Granada in Marrakech will do just fine. Located in the Palmeraie, a grove of hundreds of thousands of palm trees in the northern part of the city, this property is on nearly five acres and features view of the Atlas Mountains.
“Largely inspired by the Alhambra of Granada in Andalucia, this palace will seduce you with its proportions and its volumes,” said Christie’s International Real Estate. There are numerous lounges, a library, two kitchens, five suites, and a basement with a spa, a Hammam, a bar, and a disco. “The garden will enchant you with its grandeur but especially the beautiful rose garden, its vegetable gardens, its pool area with pool house, its tennis court, and various friendly pavilions where guests can relax and eat in privacy.”
Prefer your castle stateside? You’ve got options, like this Millbrook, NY estate. “In a world of culture lite McMansions, rarely does one find a country retreat set in an environment that is both genuine and spiritually invigorating,” said the New York Times. “Foremost among several wondrous qualities, authenticity defines Migdale Castle.”
Set on 200 acres 90 miles from New York City with views of the Catskill Mountains, Migdale Castle was built in 1927 and restored over four years to blend “princely interiors with the estate’s sublime landscape.” The castle measures an immense 34,500 square feet over four floors, with features including: a great hall, a drawing room, a grand terrace, a formal banquet room, 10 bedrooms, and an artist’s studio. There is also a gym, cinema, lounge and 5,000-bottle wine cellar, golf simulator, pool, massage/treatment room, tennis court, and a gate house. Phew!
And because no self-respecting castle would expect the Lord and Lady of the house to care for it on their own, there is also a10,000-square-foot, six-bedroom staff house.
If a turret, gothic windows, and a wall of stained-glass windows sounds good, you might need to check out the Robincroft Castle, circa 1900. “Calling all romantics! If you are a sucker for history and crazy about character, then you might be the right owner for the The Robincroft Castle, a Pasadena Historical Landmark that screams of individuality,” said Patch. “It even has its own chapel.”
The Victorian Moorish castle also has a gated entry, a huge lot, and skyline views, plus a courtyard with one of many of the property’s fountains, gold filigree ceilings, and a three-story tower. It also comes complete with a caretaker’s apartment as well as an additional studio apartment—perfect for visiting peasants.