For sale: 7 amazing historical homes owned by Henry VIII, Charles II and Winnie the Pooh

A former home of Charles II recently went on sale for the first time in 600 years. Used as a retreat for the king in 1665 when he fled from London to escape the plague, the six-bedroom Malmesbury House was put on the market with an asking price of £3.95m.

Here, we take you on a guided tour of the property, as well as six other amazing historical homes that have hit the market in recent years – from Westenhanger Castle to a Second World War bunker…

Images © Rightmove

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Henry VIII’s former home

Guide price: £4.95m

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This 11-bedroom stately home in Horton Priory, Kent, was once home to monarchs such as Henry I, Henry VIII and his daughter, Elizabeth I.

Built in the 12th century, the Grade I Listed home boasts ancient ruins, fireplaces from the Tudor, Elizabethan and Edwardian eras, and a Tudor doorway leading to a vault area with ruins of a 12th-century church and priory buildings.

The 20,000 sq ft property, which went on sale last year, is said to have been taken over by Henry VIII following the Dissolution of the monasteries. The king then gave it to his daughter, Elizabeth, later in the 16th century.

The property, which is set in 55 acres of land, has undergone extensive restoration under the guidance of English Heritage. The former monastery is now a family home boasting modern amenities including tennis courts, a heated swimming pool, cinema room, gym and driving range with putting green.

It also has multiple outbuildings including a garden cottage, stables and garages.

A Second World War bunker

Guide price: £275,000

This former Cornish bunker has been converted into a secluded country home offering 3/4 bedrooms, two bathrooms, a wet room, and a 23ft open plan living area incorporating a kitchen.

Located in St Levan, Cornwall, the bunker offers 360-degree panoramic views from its grassy roof overlooking Sennen Churchtown, and distant sea views from all angles. The property also benefits from a private drive, a garden overlooking the open countryside, a garage and a shed.

It went on sale in November 2011.

The Winnie the Pooh House

Guide price: £2m

Renowned author AA Milne bought this property in 1925 as a country retreat for himself, his wife, and son, Christopher Robin. It was here, amid the Sussex countryside and surrounding woodland, that the stories of Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh came to life.

Places in the books – such as the 500-acre wood, Galleons Lap, Poohsticks Bridge and Pooh Corner – are all based on nearby locations, in an area commonly referred to as ‘Pooh Country’.

The Grade II Listed country house, named Cotchford Farm, is understood to date from the mid-16th century. It boasts six bedrooms, four reception rooms, five bathrooms and a heated swimming pool, and is set in 9.5 acres.

In later years the house was purchased by the founder of The Rolling Stones, Brian Jones, who owned the house until his death in 1969.

The property went on sale again in 2012.

The Windmill

Guide price: £500,000

This Grade II Listed windmill near Leeds, which dates back more than 600 years, has been converted into a five-bed detached home.

The windmill, which hit the market last year, retains many character features, including its original cog workings. Other highlights include a large circular lounge, glazed walkways, and a master bedroom with a dressing room. 

The former home of Charles II

Guide price: £3.95m

Charles II lived in Malmesbury House in Salisbury in 1665 when he fled from London to escape the plague. Put on the market in February 2014 for the first time in 600 years, the property boasts six bedrooms, five reception rooms, six bathrooms and an Orangery, which dates from 1629 and has a secret upper room.

The walls of the property’s stairwell and ceilings are adorned with ornate stucco decoration dating from the mid-1700s and busts of William Shakespeare, John Milton and Ben Jonson.

The Grade I listed property was later lived in by eminent composer, Handel.

A Working Mill

Guide price: £695,000

This restored miller’s dwelling near Exmoor, complete with working water mill, was put up for sale last summer.

The four-bedroom Grade II Listed property is set in one acre of land, and boasts a library, drawing room, mill hall and study, as well as a sanctuary and a two-storey barn.

Westenhanger Castle

Guide price: £2.6m

The earliest documented occupation of this castle, which is set in 14 acres, dates from 1035, when King Cnut conveyed his property by a charter to Archbishop Eadsin of Canterbury, in the hope that he could be sure of an easy passage to heaven.

Following the Norman Conquest a succession of knights reportedly occupied the twin manors of Le Hangre, later known as Ostenhanger & Westenhanger. The castle was granted a licence to fortify by Edward III in 1343 – consequently, the curtain wall was then raised to connect with the earlier round tower and gatehouse.

In 1540 the property was escheated [transferred] to the crown by Henry VIII, who made improvements that are recorded in The Kings Works. It remained one of many royal palaces until 1581, when Elizabeth I passed it on to her collector of customs, Thomas Smythe.

From 1996 until 2012, when the seven-bedroom property went on the market, the current owners – the Forge family – carried out restoration work with the help of English Heritage.

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