In one of the biggest property deals of the year , Thornbury Castle has been sold in a deal worth £30 million .
It was one of seven venues to be purchased by Halcyon Hotels and Resorts with its joint venture partner Patron Capital last week and it is believed the historic landmark alone went for about £4 million.
It was put up for sale seven months ago for £7.5 million when its owners von Essen Hotels went into administration in April, but its asking price had to be reduced to attract buyers.
News that it was to remain a luxury hotel came as a relief in the town after months of uncertainty over the fate of the Tudor castle.
Thornbury Chamber of Commerce vice-chairman Tony Wilcock welcomed the announcement.
He said: “There was a question mark over the future of the castle when von Essen went into administration. We are happy to see that it has found a buyer and that it is going to be kept as a tourist attraction.
“The fact that it will continue as a hotel should be beneficial for the town. It is very popular and it is important that it thrives.”
A Halcyon Hotels and Resorts spokesman said: “The historic castle is expected to be a big hit with the family market and immediate steps will be taken to widen its appeal to children of all ages.”
Thornbury Castle, along with the six other properties, will be under the direction of Nigel Chapman, who heads Halcyon as its chief executive officer.
Mr Chapman said: “I and my colleagues on the management team will set about revitalising these hotels immediately. It’s thrilling to have a genuine castle in our family.”
Jobs could be created as a result of the purchase as Mr Chapman has pledged to recruit staff at most of the locations.
Mayor of Thornbury Gill Brooks said: “That is wonderful news. We were concerned about people losing their jobs at the hotel when the owners went into administration. It would be very good if it brought some jobs to the town.”
One of the town’s most attractive sites, Thornbury Castle was built 500 years ago by the Duke of Buckingham, who was later charged with treason by Henry VIII.
The king and his second wife Anne Boleyn are known to have stayed at the property.