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Fit for a King: Medieval castle with 22 bedrooms and a hot tub on sale for £9.5 million

 (Rightmove)
(Rightmove)

Appleby Castle, which dates from the 12th century and has been owned by Kings of Scotland and England, is on the market for £9.5 million with Sotheby’s International.

The 22-bedroom estate includes a motte and bailey castle, three cottages, 25 acres of parkland, tennis courts, a gym complex with hot tub, and fishing rights on the River Eden.

It is located in the market town of Appleby, in Cumbria.

Complete with crenellated battlements and a Norman-era keep, Appleby Castle also includes a 13th-century round tower, and great hall and a dinging room that dates from the 15th century.

Appleby Castle is Grade I listed (Rightmove)
Appleby Castle is Grade I listed (Rightmove)

In the grounds there is a bee house, built for Lady Anne Clifford in 17th century, which is also Grade I listed,

Its amenities are far from medieval, however. Appleby Castle has been run as a four-star hotel, and it currently boasts a gym, a sauna room and a hot tub.

The castle was contested by English and Scottish Kings throughout its history (Handout)
The castle was contested by English and Scottish Kings throughout its history (Handout)

Rich in British history, the castle was founded at the start of the 12th century by Ranulf le Meschin, a Norman noble who served Henry I, son of William the Conqueror.

When Eden Valley, where the castle is located, was invaded in a dawn raid by King of Scotland William the Lion, the castle surrendered to him immediately.

Founded in the 12th century, it has been added to and restored multiple times (Handout)
Founded in the 12th century, it has been added to and restored multiple times (Handout)

The castle returned to English hands when Henry II re-took Cumbria from the Scots, and it eventually ended up in the hands of the Clifford family, who owned it for 400 yeards.

It has seen many alterations, additions and restorations through the years.

The castle estate has 22 bedrooms (Rightmove)
The castle estate has 22 bedrooms (Rightmove)

In 1973 the castle was purchased by the businessman Denis Vernon. ALong with opening the castle to the public, Vernon established a rare breeds centre there for the conservation of Longhorn cattle, Tamworth pigs, and Wensleydale sheep.

He also ran a training centre at Appleby Castle that was used by popular British bakery chain Greggs.

The castle and parkland is on the market for £9.5 million (Handout)
The castle and parkland is on the market for £9.5 million (Handout)

The castle was bought by entrepreneur Christopher Nightingale in 1998 and was one of three castles he owned with his wife until their acrimonious divorce in the Noughties.

Sally Nightingale kept the castle in the split, which earned the moniker of ‘the Tipp-Ex Divorce’ after Sally’s lawyers accused Christopher of allegedly doctoring documents to downplay his wealth.

She turned the keep into a museum named the Norman Centre, and rented the castle out for weddings and tourist accomodation.

Now the castle is looking for a new owner to take on its historic building and grounds.