So you want to live . . . in a ruined castle

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The Independent Online

What, you mean literally?

What, you mean literally?

Admittedly, the 800-year-old ruins of the Biddulph castle would make a draughty home. Fortunately, the attached property - built over part of the old site - offers rather warmer accommodation, although we're still talking pretty old.

What sort of condition are the ruins in?

They were in pretty good nick until 1643, when Roaring Meg, a Civil War cannon, brought the walls down to end a siege (and an era). What's left are the last vestiges of a landmark that was built in the aftermath of the crusades.

Sounds like this has had quite an eventful history

Not content to leave the site as a historical landmark, the 17th-century descendants of the original owners built a new hall over part of the ruins, using the back walls as part of the foundation for their (relatively) new construction. Not long after, it passed on to a band of Buddhists who turned it into a Zen-like retreat, before it reverted back to private ownership.

How liveable is the hall?

Ye-olde four-bedroom property offers pretty spacious accommodation, with quite traditional oak-lined rooms. There's a stone-flagged great hall, two drawing rooms, a sitting room and several un-modernised rooms, which require some work. In fact, agent Juliet Evans would be the first to admit that this no-mod-con majesty is more a labour of love: "It's really a restoration project, which will then produce the most wonderful family house," she enthuses.

Any other worthy local attractions?

Well, it's very close to the Peak District National Park and even closer are the Biddulph Grange Victorian gardens, which the agents trumpet as being the most acclaimed Victorian gardens in the country - quite an accolade by any stretch of the imagination...

How much?

The Grade II*-listed property in Biddulph, Staffordshire - with attached ruins - is for sale through Strutt & Parker (01244 220500) for £495,000. Worth bearing in mind, however, is the cost of the restoration, which would run upwards of £100,000.