Queen’s cousin’s 436-year-old mansion with 40 rooms on market for £4.75m
A 436-year-old mansion belonging to the late Queen Elizabeth II ‘s first cousin The Duke of Gloucester is now on the market for offers exceeding £4.75 million. The Grade-II listed Barnwell Manor, in Northamptonshire, is said to boast 40 rooms including four reception rooms, eight bedrooms and six bathrooms.
It’s understood that Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, King Charles III’s first cousin once removed, resided at the stunning property with his wife, Birgitte van Deurs., Duchess of Gloucester, until the mid-nineties, after which point, they reportedly could no longer afford to live there.
After letting the property to an antiques firm, the royal couple made the move to an apartment at Kensington Palace, the official London residence of The Prince and Princess of Wales.
The Tudor manor house is steeped in history, with an ancient stone gatehouse marking the ruins of Barnwell Castle, which was constructed back in 1266.
The current owner took the title of the second Duke of Gloucester in 1972, following the tragic death of his elder brother Prince William of Gloucester, who died in a plane crash during the Goodyear International Air Trophy competition of 1972.
As the heir apparent to his father’s dukedom, Prince Richard subsequently gave up his architectural career to assume various family obligations, as well as royal duties on behalf of his cousin, Her Majesty, the Queen.
The manor – which costs a reported £30,000 per year to rent – had been granted to Prince Richard’s mother, Princess Alice’s family, the Montagus, by King Henry VIII, and was owned by his great-grandfather, the 6th Duke of Buccleuch, until it was sold in 1913.
The home was returned to the family 25 years later, after Princess Alice’s husband, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, bought it for £37,000.
Earlier this month, a number of items from the property were sold at auction, with a guide price of between £1.1 million and £1.7 million including a variety of sculptures, furniture, and works of fine art.
Among the items sold by Dreweatts Auctioneers on September 7th and 8th was a George III mahogany serpentine figure with an estimated value of between £20,000 to £30,000, and a set of 19th-century Italian marble obelisks.
A Dreweatts spokesperson stated at the time: “The sale will include a curated offering of important and decorative furniture, paintings and works of art including provenances from some of our great houses and historic collections.
“This atmospheric house, medieval castle, and the surrounding gardens will form the dramatic backdrop to the sale, with the full sale view being hosted on the premises, affording collectors and connoisseurs the rare opportunity to see and acquire beautiful and sometimes unusual objects within a wonderfully historic context.”