Unique opportunity to restore a stunning Grade I listed castle by James Wyatt in an unrivalled position overlooking the Solent. Lodge cottage, castellated farm buildings with Bailiff’s House, 2 further cottages, walled garden, Landing House folly, parkland, woodland and over 1 mile of sea frontage.
ACCOMMODATION AND AMENITIES Accommodation and amenities
Extending to approximately 26,393 sq ft, the castle has impressive principal reception rooms,
extensive domestic offices and bedroom accommodation.
Entrance hall • Staircase hall • Library • Drawing room • Dining room • Study • Breakfast room
Kitchen • Extensive domestic offices • 1st floor sitting room
Extensive bedroom accommodation with several bathrooms
Terraced lawn gardens with views over the Solent leading down to the sea
2 bedroom Lodge Cottage • 4 bedroom Norris Farmhouse • 3 bedroom Norris Farmhouse Cottage
Extensive traditional farm buildings and stabling • Walled garden • Modern farm building
2 bedroom Landing House (please see footnote below)
Parkland, woodland and over 1 mile of sea frontage
In all about 225 acres
THE ISLE OF WIGHT On arriving at Norris Castle it is easy to understand why the location was chosen for such a fine building. Situated between Cowes and Queen Victoria’s palatial holiday home Osborne House, Norris Castle
sits in an unrivalled position overlooking the Solent. The largest island off the coast of England, with milder than average UK temperatures, the 147 square miles that make up the Isle of Wight have become a popular holiday and residential destination.
With idyllic towns and villages as well as a diverse range of landscapes, over half the island is now designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and there are more miles of footpaths than roads. Divided by the River Medina into East and West Cowes, this busy harbour town has many amenities including a number of pubs, shops and restaurants including a Waitrose in East Cowes.
An abundance of walking and riding is available on country and coastal lanes and paths offering some dramatic scenery. There are also a number of golf courses across the island. With approximately 57 miles of coastline the island has become a sailing paradise. The waters of the Solent play host to the annual Cowes Week Regatta and the Round the Island Race. Cowes offers superb marina facilities and of course other water sports can be enjoyed from the beach at The Norris Castle Estate.
TRAVEL A helicopter takes less than 30 minutes to London. Southampton Airport is 5 miles by car from the Docks and Heathrow is 63 miles.
A direct train service runs four times an hour from Southampton to London Waterloo and takes about 78 minutes. The train service from Portsmouth Harbour also runs four times an hour and takes 105
There are 350 ferry crossings a day. Southampton to Cowes passenger service takes 23 minutes. Southampton to Cowes car ferry takes 60 minutes. Portsmouth to Ryde passenger service takes 22 minutes.
Southsea to Ryde passenger service takes 10 minutes. Portsmouth to Fishbourne car ferry takes 40 minutes. Lymington to Yarmouth car ferry takes 35 minutes.
HISTORY In the reign of King Edward I, land in Whippingham Parish was held by Richard le Norey and from him came the name of the estate evolving through Norreys and Norres to Norris. Lord Henry Seymour bought the farm in 1795. Shortly afterwards, he commissioned James Wyatt to build him a seaside residence. Wyatt, fresh from restoring and repairing Windsor Castle and the Houses of Parliament, designed and built the Castle during the years 1795 to 1805. At the time, James Wyatt was competing with Robert Adam as the favoured
architect of the time. He built Norris Castle combining Norman grandeur and Georgian elegance and used locally mined stone with the pointing galleted with flints. The castle remains virtually unaltered from its original form. Humphrey Repton is believed to have designed the parkland landscape.
The castle has long been visited by important historical figures with the Prince Regent, later George IV, visiting the estate in 1819. Later in 1831 and again in 1833, the Duchess of Kent with her daughter Princess, later Queen, Victoria stayed at the castle for prolonged periods where the Princess lived with
unaccustomed freedom walking her dog and riding her pony.
Queen Victoria later returned with Prince Albert to consider purchasing Norris Castle but the then owner Thomas Bell, a newspaper tycoon of the time, asked for too large a price so they later returned to build neighbouring Osborne House.
In 1880, the Duchess of Bedford was appointed Mistress of Robes and, to be near Osborne, the Duke bought Norris. During this period, the castle was a place for Royal relations to stay and the German Kaiser was a frequent guest, so much so he had his own bath installed which still remains today.
The castle had various owners following the Duke of Bedford, including the Canadian troops during the First World War. It has been owned by the current family since the late 1950s.
THE NORRIS CASTLE ESTATE The Norris Castle Estate represents a unique opportunity to acquire one of the finest properties on the Isle of Wight and to restore the castle to its former glory. The castle sits in an unrivalled position and has stunning and far reaching views over the Solent.
The castle is accessed from East Cowes via The Lodge in the south west of the estate and down a long carriage drive meandering through historic parkland past Norris Castle Farm to the south façade of the castle.
A castellated porch protects the front door and leads to the entrance porch and hall with its vaulted ceiling
and stone staircase with mahogany rail. The ground floor has a number of fine reception rooms including
the circular drawing room and the library both of which contain original wooden bookshelves designed by James Wyatt.
In addition in the eastern end of the castle are the study, dining room and first floor circular sitting room. Many of the rooms still retain their period features and fine fireplaces. There are extensive domestic offices which lead down to the western end of the castle, which is centred on an enclosed courtyard.
There is extensive bedroom accommodation and several bathrooms as well as an impressive circular bedroom on the second floor of the main tower.
In addition there are extensive cellars in the basement which also boast the original kitchens, the billiard room
and the old indoor swimming pool.
The castle is surrounded by lawns, parkland and woodland with the emphasis being on enjoying the
views to the sea.
Beyond the immediate grounds are further areas of parkland, pasture and mature woodland. The woodland is particularly beautiful with mixed mature trees, wild flowers and an abundance of wildlife.
All of the land ultimately leads down to the sea with over 1.1 miles of sea frontage with various
beaches and points to access the sea
NORRIS CASTLE FARM Situated a short distance to the south of the castle is the impressive Norris Castle Farm, also Grade I listed, designed by James Wyatt and built around 1800. The farm buildings and walled garden stand back to back and with the castellated walls form an imitation medieval castle.
At the heart of the farm buildings is the Bailiff’s House comprising a drawing room, sitting room, dining room, kitchen, 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. On either side are a further 3 bedroom cottage and a
All of the cottages are currently vacant.
Beyond the cottages, the buildings are split in to four yards with traditional barns, stables and store rooms. The farm has massive potential for its traditional purpose, additional residential accommodation or a wide range of alternative uses. Adjoining the farmyard to the south east is a 1.65 acre walled kitchen garden which
too has enormous potential; it would be a wonderful project to restore it to its former glory.
Just to the northwest of the traditional farm yard is a modern farm building which is well hidden by mature trees.
THE LODGE Situated at the entrance to the estate, the Grade II listed Lodge comprises a sitting room, kitchen and WC on the ground floor with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor. It is currently occupied under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
General Remarks and Stipulations
Wayleaves, Easements and Rights of Way
The property is offered for sale subject to and with the benefit of all rights of way either public or private, all easements, wayleaves and other rights of way whether they are specifically referred to or not. For further details please contact the selling agents.
DIRECTIONS From the Red Funnel car ferry terminal, leave East Cowes on York Avenue towards Ryde and Newport. Proceed up the hill for 0.75 mile and turn left into New Barn Road where you will see one of the old gate lodges of Osborne House. Continue past this and on a left hand bend turn right continuing straight on New Barn Road. Follow the road and you will reach the front gate with stone piers. Follow the drive past the castellated farm buildings until you reach the castle.
VIEWINGS Viewings are strictly by appointment through the vendor’s agents, Knight Frank LL P and Spence Willard.
IMPORTANT NOTICE These particulars are not an offer or contract, nor part of one. You should not rely on statements by Knight Frank LL P or Spence Willard in the particulars or by word of mouth or in writing ("information") as being factually accurate about the property, its condition or its value. Neither Knight Frank LL P or Spence Willard nor any joint agent has any authority to make any representations about the property, and accordingly any information given is entirely without responsibility on the part of the agents, seller(s) or lessor(s). Photos etc: The photographs show only certain parts of the property as they appeared at the time they were taken. Areas, measurements and distances given are approximate only. Regulations etc: Any reference to alterations to, or use of, any part of the property does not mean that any necessary planning, building regulations or other consent has been obtained. A buyer or lessee must find out by inspection or in other ways that these matters have been properly dealt with and that all information is correct