Highcliffe Castle

Highcliffe Castle was built between 1831 and 1835 by one Lord Stuart de Rothesay on the site of an earlier Georgian house, HighCliff, built for his grandfather, the 3rd Earl of Bute.

The architect was William Donthorne, a founder member of RIBA, who incorporated a large quantity of carved medieval stonework which Lord Stuart had acquired from the Norman Benedictine Abbey of St Peter at Jumieges and from the Grande Maison des Andelys. Examples of stained glass from France and other European countries, dating as far back as the twelfth century, were also introduced, some of which can still be seen today. It was privately owned until 1950 but has since had a somewhat checkered history. After brief spells as children's convalescent home and a catholic seminary, it became disused in 1966 following the first of two damaging fires. Please visit the official website here.