It's hosted Kings of England and world-famous composers and now, for the first time in its 600-year history, Malmesbury House in Wiltshire could be yours for the not-to-be-sniffed at price tag of £5 million
Imagine you’re the King of England, you’ve recently returned from exile in France and your realm is besieged by pestilence and plague… I mean, what’s a chap to do?
Luckily as this fair isle’s monarch you pretty much have free run of any stately home that takes your fancy, and, my, Malmesbury House in Wiltshire is certainly very easy on the eye.
So what do you do? You flee said plague and pestilence and take up residence, of course!
And who could blame Charles II for escaping to Malmesbury? The Grade I-listed property was originally built in 1416 and features nine bedrooms (plenty of room for all those mistresses then), six bathrooms, a superb library and a pristine view of Salisbury Cathedral.
Back in 1665, when Charles II was in residence, the house was owned by the eminent Harris family who went on to commission Sir Christopher Wren to renovate the facade and create an extension on the property.
It is believed that James Harris III was also a music lover and a great friend of the composer George Frideric Handel, who is thought to have given his first concert in England in Malmesbury House’s music room.
Built to a classical Queen Anne design with a pitched roof and a grand cantilevered staircase, the house also features intricate plasterwork, a marbled fireplace as well as a large walled garden and an orangery, which was added in 1629.
This is the first time in its 600-year history that the house has come on to the open market having previously changed hands in private. And while the £5 million price tag is not to be sniffed at, the house is likely to be an extremely hot property.
Richard Gayner of Savills told The Telegraph: ‘I have been selling houses outside London for 40 years and I can’t recall any of that size with better quality interiors.
‘It is a jewel box. There was a time when people wanted country houses in the middle of nowhere, but they often come with huge grounds. If you happen to run out of milk at Malmesbury House, it’s not hard to fix.’
Well when you put it like that £5 million seems like quite a bargain. Sort of.
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