How to be lady of the manor on the cheap

Seven apartments in stately homes


Nursery House

With heavy hints last week that Downton Abbey may be coming to the big screen, stately home mania is set to return.

Unfortunately, these huge houses cost a fortune to run - as well as needing an awful lot of staff. However, because of this, many have been split up into apartments that provide all the elegance of Downton, without the draughty acreage.

We look at seven houses and flats within stately homes.

Martley, Worcestershire

The grand interior

The decor in this two-bedroom ground floor flat is decidedly Downton, and there are lovely features including high ceilings and beautiful fireplaces and exposed beams in the large kitchen. Laugherne House was built as a Georgian gentleman's residence and sits in large shared gardens with a swimming pool and tennis courts. The flat costs £350,000 through Fine & Country.

Virginia Water, Surrey

Aerial view of the houseAt this price, you might expect to get more than a two-bedroom flat - but this one is not only in a stunning stately home but also in pricey Virginia Water. It's been created from the original ballroom of Lyne Place Manor and boasts ornate pilasters in the elegant drawing room as well as French doors opening to a small balcony, with views across a private garden. There's also a pretty covered verandah with sandstone pillars and a wisteria, where you can enjoy your afternoon tea. It costs £1.1 million through Hamptons International.

Goldicote, Stratford-Upon-Avon

Goldicote Hall

Goldicote Hall is set in 18 acres of private parkland and formal gardens and was converted into apartments in around 2000. Your piece is a two-level apartment with a stunning drawing room with superbly ornate ceiling and fireplace with a dining kitchen with study area, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Agents Jeremy McGinn & Co are looking for £395,000.

See also: Five houses hiding an incredible historic secret

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Wylam, Northumberland

The lovely stone frontage of the house

More than just an apartment, Nursery House has been created from the north wing of Bradley Hall a Palladian mansion built around 1750. It has its own private walled garden and double garage, as well as communal grounds. The four bedrooms and two receptions are all a good size, with original features including sash windows, original shutters, panelled doors, high ceilings, picture rails and decorative cornicing. There's a charming galleried reading area overlooking the stairs. It'll cost you £845,000 through agent Finest Properties.

Old Derry Hill, Chippenham

The large Victorian house

Pewsham House is a red brick manor house built during the 19th century and set in large communal grounds with woodland, a brook and a lake. This apartment has an entrance hall, living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, with stone mullion windows and high ceilings. There's a pretty fireplace and a parquet floor in the living room, and the rooms are all a good size. It costs £230,000 from Allen & Harris.

Hurn, Christchurch

View across parkland to the enormous house

Another very expensive one - but this time you're getting most of the building, with a seven-bedroom wing of Hurn Court. Set in 12 acres of communal parkland, the house has hosted everyone from royalty to Handel and Lord Nelson. The three reception rooms are large and grand, and there's a wonderful sweeping staircase for making a grand entrance. The master bedroom has a unique oriel window and there's a central reception atrium that brings natural light right into the heart of the property. It costs £1.295 million through agent Denisons.

Bourton On Dunsmore, Rugby

The grand exterior

You can own a chunk of a stately home for next to nothing at Dunsmore Hall Hotel - but you can only live in it for a couple of weeks a year. Rooms in the listed eighteenth-century hall are available to purchase as an investment with rental returns of 10% a year for ten years. There's also the chance to sell the property back in year 10 for 125% of the purchase price. The public areas are very grand, and there are plenty of period features, including stucco ceilings in some rooms. You'll pay from £75,000 though agent Keller Williams.

Downton Abbey property for sale

Downton Abbey property for sale