Society Magazine

Mansion Linked to Henry VIII Transformed into Stately Home

Posted on the 11 February 2015 by 72point @72hub

NEWS COPY – WITH PICTURES

A grand mansion linked to Henry VIII and later sold by the government after suffering years of neglect has been transformed into the cheapest stately home.

House hunters wanting a bit of Wolf Hall or Downton Abbey in their lives can move into Preston Hall from just #195,000.

This is around #18,000 more than the average price paid for a home in England and Wales – and #50,000 less than the average value of a property.

The 55,000 sq/ft mansion dates was originally the home of the Culpeper family, a family Tudor dynasty, who held grand Courtly events and hunts with Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

But it became an NHS facility in 1945 and years of neglect left the grand building needing millions of pounds getting it back into shape.

The government sold the Grade II listed mansion, near Aylesford, Kent, to Weston Homes for a “nominal fee” which has transformed it into 36 apartments.

Prices start from #195,000, which is understood to make it the cheapest way to live in an English stately home.

All flats boast period features, while the top-end #700,000 pads have huge mezzanine.

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Bob Weston, boss of Weston Homes, said: “With its links to King Henry VIII, its grand stone fa?ade and spacious period interiors Preston Hall provided a rich historic backdrop on which we have layered a luxurious state-of-the-specification and new build elements in order to create the most outstanding contemporary homes to be unveiled in this part of Kent.

“Preston Hall is without doubt the most prestigious, challenging and unique restoration projects we have undertaken to date.”

Preston Hall was once the country residence of the Culpeper family, which featured in the mini-series, The Tudors.

One descendant of the family, Joyce Culpeper, married Edmund Howard and was the mother of Queen Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry VIII.

When Catherine became Henry VIII’s wife Preston Hall became a center for grand Courtly events and hunts.

However, Catherine had an affair with her distant cousin Sir Thomas Culpeper – a courtier to the King – and they were both beheaded for treason.

Ownership of the hall passed through relatives of the Culpeper family until it was purchased in 1848 by Edward Ladd Betts, a railroad baron.

In 1850 Edward and his wife Anne commissioned architect John Thomas to refurbish Preston Hall into the magnificent Jacobean mansion which currently stands on the site.

John Thomas was a favorite architect of HRH Prince Albert, The Prince Consort and worked on Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and Somerleyton Hall.

However, in 1867, the Betts family were bankrupted and he was forced to sell it to  rival railway baron Thomas Brassey.

ENDS


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