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Hadlow Tower for sale with Sotheby's

The owner of a gothic tower has decided to sell it at a cut-price £1.6 million, months after a competition offering the castle as a top prize ended.

Christian Tym announced Hadlow Tower in Hadlow was going up for grabs in a raffle-style competition at the end of 2018.

One of the rooms inside Hadlow Tower Picture: SWNS
One of the rooms inside Hadlow Tower Picture: SWNS

The banker bought the historic 175ft tower for £425,000 in August 2017 after it went through a restoration worth millions, with grants coming from National Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage.

A year later it was put up for sale with a £2 million asking price.

Mr Tym had also pledged to run public open days at the site during the year.

But after it failed to sell, he launched the contest with the top prize of the unique family home.

Explaining the move at the time, he said: "We have had many amazing and fun times at the tower but are now looking to move on.

Hadlow Tower has gone on the market with a £1.6 million price tag Picture: English Heritage
Hadlow Tower has gone on the market with a £1.6 million price tag Picture: English Heritage

"We wanted to use the media attention we received selling the tower to help promote the property and raise awareness of public open days.

"In 2017 we had not managed to bring this to as many people’s attention as we had hoped, despite being on the front page of Google if you looked up open days at the Tower.

"We also want to raise money for charity and, in particular, charities that have a special meaning for us.

"It was not easy choosing, so we let our four children decide and they chose charities that support deaf children, people suffering from mental health conditions, supporting ex-military personnel and terminally ill children."

The rules of the competition involved entrants tackling a mental arithmetic puzzle. Those who wanted to submit an answer paid £4.50.

The puzzle people had to solve to be entered into the draw to win the castle. The answer is given below
The puzzle people had to solve to be entered into the draw to win the castle. The answer is given below

Along with the fully furnished fairytale tower, any winner was set to receive £100,000, stamp duty covered, help in paying for solicitor's fees, and have a year's council tax paid for.

Mr Tym said the monument would only go to a winner if 800,000 entries were received by June 2019.

According to the Castle Competition website, there is no announcement of anyone winning the attraction, but 51 weekend stays in the castle were given away, worth £102,000, with details of these winners published.

It does not mention how many overall entries there were.

The competition and the sale had attracted criticism from the Save Hadlow Tower Action Group which felt more should be done to attract visitors.

Owner Christian Tym and wife Rebecca who had previously offered a competition to win the tower
Owner Christian Tym and wife Rebecca who had previously offered a competition to win the tower

The new sale is being handled by Sotheby's and the price has dropped to £1.6 million.

Any lucky new owner can enjoy four bedrooms, a master bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe, with a roof terrace.

The tower also boasts a drawing room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room and a hall on the ground floor.

There is a lift connecting the first four floors, or its new owner could choose to climb one of two turret staircases. On the seventh and eighth floors there is a parapet-walkway giving a 360 degree panoramic view of west Kent.

The listing adds: "On the outside Hadlow Tower is pure gothic fantasy, on the inside it is a spectacular family home. The tower rises to 175ft making it taller than Nelson's Column.

The tower is on offer with extensive grounds and sits in the village of Hadlow Picture: SWNS
The tower is on offer with extensive grounds and sits in the village of Hadlow Picture: SWNS

"There is a private garden and parking, communal castle estate grounds with croquet lawn and ornamental boating lake."

"After years of lying semi-derelict after the war, £4.5 million was spent refurbishing the tower with grants from National Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage. The restoration won the prestigious Angel Award for its quality of craftsmanship."

The tower was previously advertised on swingers website Club Aphrodite - inviting '25 couples or 50 singles' for some 'Gothic castle folly'.

It said: "Enjoy threesomes, foursomes and moresomes in the intriguing candlelit rooms created for the fulfilment of the eccentric, original owner's medieval, baronic fantasies."

Building began in the late 1780s and was commissioned by Walter May whose son Walt added a 170ft octagonal tower in 1838.

KMTV reported on a competition which saw the tower offered as the prize

After the son died the tower was owned by the High Sheriff of Kent and later by Harley Street specialist Dr MacGeagh.

During the Second World War the castle was used as a watchtower by the Home Guard and Royal Observer Corps.

Restoration on the 130ft Grade-I listed castle was completed in February 2013.

KentOnline has asked Mr Tym for a comment.

The answer to the castle competition maths challenge was 24 - which was announced on the Castle Competition website.

Read more: All the latest news from Tonbridge


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