Mansion GlobalBY JONELLE MANNION
May 26, 2021
LISTING OF THE DAY
Price: £2.75 million ($3.74 million)
This four-story apartment in a castle in the heart of London provides the unique opportunity to live like a royal, without the burden of an unwieldy estate to look after.
The luxury property is one of four units located inside Grade I-listed Vanbrugh Castle. Loaded with character and charm, the building also houses secret tunnels and the remains of an amphitheater within its wooded grounds, which comprise some of its 2.5 acres that also contain communal landscaped gardens.
The castle is named for Sir John Vanbrugh, the renowned 18th-century dramatist and architect best known as the designer of UNESCO World Heritage Site Blenheim Palace in Oxford and Castle Howard in North Yorkshire. Vanbrugh built the castle in 1718 and lived there with his wife Henrietta Maria Vanbrugh.
The four-story apartment is located in the historic Grade I-listed Vanbrugh Castle, on the edge of Greenwich Park.Joas Souza
Modeled on the French Bastille—where Vanbrugh was imprisoned in 1690 for two years, on the charge of espionage, according to Mr. Brotto—it is a stately and imposing building complete with round and square towers and battlements. It was fully restored and refurbished by the Blackheath Preservation Trust, who divided the property into four independent luxury living spaces in 1977.
The current owner spent a couple of hundred thousand pounds to refurbish the annex, Mr. Brotto said, adding that it is rare to find a period property of this caliber that doesn’t need any work done.
The 3,139-square-foot, four-story apartment has four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, and the castle sits upon 2.5 acres of grounds.
No. 2 possesses some unique features compared to the rest of the properties, including a private roof terrace with 360 degree views that take in the city, as well as a basement-level converted annex, which was historically used as coach storage. With its independent kitchen and bathroom, the annex has many potential uses, including as guest accommodation, a cinema room or a games room. Aside from the annex, the basement level also has a utility room and large wine cellar.
The castle’s shared 2.5 acre grounds include communal gardens and a large wooded area, which houses a disused tennis court and an amphitheater, on which Sir John Vanburgh would have staged his plays, and which could be recovered for use, according to Mr. Brotto.
Residents will also benefit from two off-street parking spaces.
Vanbrugh Castle is perched at the edge of Greenwich Park, just north of Blackheath in Maze Hill, in southeast London. While the main road coming up from Blackheath tends to be busy, according to Mr. Brotto, the residence is set in from the main road, lending it a sense of peace and privacy.
The town of Greenwich, famed for giving its name to Greenwich Mean Time, is home to Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, as well as the O2 entertainment venue and London’s only cable car.
While the beautiful green space of Greenwich Park—London’s oldest Royal Park and home to the Royal Observatory—is a significant amenity in itself, the area also boasts many well respected schools, including the John Roan Middle School, Blackheath High School, the Pointer School and Blackheath Prep School.
According to Mr. Brotto, there are several notable figures living in that area, including rock star Manfred Mann, who lives just a few doors down from Vanbrugh Castle.