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Whimsical Derbyshire Mansion Hits the Market for First Time in a Century

Live out your Downton Abbey dreams in this 18th-century castle.


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When British industrialist and mill-owner Richard Arkwright purchased the picturesque meadows and rocky woodland adjacent to the River Derwent, known as the Willersley Estate in 1782, he had big plans for it. Arkwright, who would be knighted by King George III four years later, wanted to build a sprawling estate reflective of his expanding fortune. And even though Sir Richard didn’t live long enough to enjoy his new home—he died in 1792 a few years before the mansion was completed—Willersley Castle truly lived up to his expectations. Now, about a hundred years after it was last sold to a group of businessmen who converted it into a holiday center, the stunning estate is on the market again.

The 30,000-square-foot mansion sits on 65 acres of private woodland that is also part of the UNESCO Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. It was most recently used as a hotel and it has 30 bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom, plus an additional 14-bed mews block, a swimming pool and gym area, grass tennis courts, and a private stretch of the River Derwent with finishing rights. The estate also includes a separate coach house, a lodge gatehouse, and a stable block.

Related: How to Create a Posh London-Style Flat

Inside, the Georgian-style home is full of character as some of the original 18th-century features, such as the stunning “Well Gallery”—a dome-covered space located in the center of the building—and several fireplaces have been preserved. If you are the artsy type of person, then you’re absolutely going to love the magnificent Music and Drawing rooms on the first floor. And with several grand reception rooms, the Willersley Castle is an entertainer’s paradise.

The estate is located about 150 miles north of London and is surrounded by plenty of picturesque towns and villages, including Matlock, known for its Victorian spa.

Related: A Look at Some of the Royal Family's Most Beautiful Properties

Willersley Castle is for sale through DeWitt’s Property and comes with a price tag of $5.32 million.


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