Thornbury Castle sold for £4 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.

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.

Hopton Castle renovation makes progress

16 members of Hopton Castle Preservation Trust visited the site and enjoyed views from the top of the castle. A new archway has been built in the castle’s north west tower and a new roof is being put over one tower to protect the original medieval plaster. Scaffolding, which has surrounded the castle for more than two years, is due to come down this week and it is hoped the restoration will be finished by Christmas. It marks the beginning of the end of an appeal launched by trust members 10 years ago to restore the castle ruins. The project has since been delayed by poor weather and new problems discovered in the castle structure.

16 members of Hopton Castle Preservation Trust visited the site and enjoyed views from the top of the castle. A new archway has been built in the castle’s north west tower and a new roof is being put over one tower to protect the original medieval plaster. Scaffolding, which has surrounded the castle for more than two years, is due to come down this week and it is hoped the restoration will be finished by Christmas. It marks the beginning of the end of an appeal launched by trust members 10 years ago to restore the castle ruins. The project has since been delayed by poor weather and new problems discovered in the castle structure.

Hopton Castle received funding of £1.25 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund . The project should allow access by the public. The castle needs about £3000 a year for maintenance.

Oxford Castle not for sale

Oxford Castle, in Castle Street, has been given a virtual price tag of £45m. Some Oxford city landmarks ahve been valued by local estate agents .
The much-photographed Radcliffe Camera, in Radcliffe Square, was valued at £23m.
Property expert Nigel Lewis, of FindaProperty.com, said: “We know these landmarks will never be put up for sale, but with property prices shooting up 10 per cent over the past year we thought it would be fun to see what the market consensus was about their values

Oxford Castle, in Castle Street, has been given a virtual price tag of £45m. Some Oxford city landmarks have been valued by local estate agents .
The much-photographed Radcliffe Camera, in Radcliffe Square, was valued at £23m.
Property expert Nigel Lewis, of FindaProperty.com, said: “We know these landmarks will never be put up for sale, but with property prices shooting up 10 per cent over the past year we thought it would be fun to see what the market consensus was about their values. It is quite a challenge for estate agents more used to valuing suburban semis to put an accurate price on town halls or castles, but there was a surprising amount of agreement between the different agents we spoke to.”

The most expensive residential property in the city currently on the website is a seven-bedroom detached house in Charlbury Road, North Oxford. Near the house where author Iris Murdoch once lived, the property is on the market for £3.5m.

Lizanne Simmons, of Summertown-based Penny & Sinclair, said: “Size, location and kerb appeal dictated the valuations, as did what they could be used for.

“The castle and the town hall could be quite good party or wedding venues.