Caverswall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Caverswall Castle began its long and varied story in 1275 when Sir William de Caverwall received a “license to crenellate” his Saxon Manor House. During the English Civil War, the Castle was used as a garrison by parliamentary forces and later became a sanctuary to an order of Benedictine Nuns who had escaped the French Revolution. Sir Percival Radcliffe owned the castle in the mid-19th Century and drained the moat, creating the stunning gardens that remain today. In 1933 it came into the hands of the Sisters of the Holy Ghost, who in turn sold it in 1965 to another convent, the Daughters of the House of Mary. Standing in 20 acres of grounds, gardens and lakes, the castle has eight suites, six further bedrooms, a chapel, wine cellar, orangery and dungeon.
Leuchars, St Andrews, Fife
Not just the spiritual home of golf, St Andrews is home to Earlshall Castle, thought to be one of the best kept 16th century houses in all of Scotland. Earlshall is set in 34 acres of its own parkland (with another 19 acres of grazing land) in north east Fife, 50 miles from Edinburgh Airport, and is believed to have taken its name from a hunting lodge once owned by the ancient Earls of Fife, relatives of Robert de Bruce, King of Scotland. While the castle has eight reception rooms, 10 bedrooms, 2 dressing rooms, six bathrooms, three cottages and a five car garage, it’s most magnificent feature is its listed walled garden and topiary lawn, in which a gateway (designed by arguably Scotland’s greatest architect Sir Robert Lorimer) reads the inscription, “Here shall ye see no enemy but winter and rough weather”, from Shakespeare’s, As You Like It.
The neighbourhood itself is where aristocrats, writers, priests, artists, sculptors and potters lived and worked, and it is no surprise that this six-bedroom, seven-bathroom single family home is steeped in old Chelsea history. Originally a combination of coach house, barn and stables – the oldest part dates from about 1760 – the charismatic property is laid out around a central courtyard garden and boasts a dramatic double height Great Room replete with minstrels gallery and oak beams, reputedly taken from Steventon Hall, the home of Jane Austen, where she wrote Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey and Sense & Sensibility. A secluded oasis, it also houses six reception rooms, a cinema, conservatory and staff cottage.