Published: 15:14, 28 October 2019
| Updated: 21:00, 28 October 2019
A clifftop mansion where Charles Dickens wrote one of his most famous books is on the market for £2.5 million.
Grade II-listed Bleak House, the most prominent building in Broadstairs, located above Viking Bay, was a favoured holiday home of the author, who spent his summers lodging at the stunning residence.
Dickens wrote David Copperfield at the estate in Fort Road – when it was known as Fort House – in 1851.
In more recent years it has been a bed and breakfast and wedding venue, but recently reverted back to being a family home.
The famous house has seven bedrooms, a bar, a parapet roof terrace, and its own smugglers' museum on the lower ground floor.
Owner Richard Hilton bought the property in 2005 as a family home.
"We realised it was something very special in a stunning location," he said.
"Over the years we thoroughly enjoyed it as a family home but in 2012 we decided to turn it into a very sophisticated bed and breakfast as well as a wedding venue.
"It proved very popular and we had two licensed rooms for ceremonies as well as a restaurant, bar and tea room.
"We could seat 65 guests for a wedding in the house or have room for 200 in a marquee in the garden.
"However, in recent times it has reverted to being a home for family members but we now feel that, owing to my deteriorating health and the next generation flying the nest, it is now too big for us and we would like another family to enjoy it as much as we have.
"Whether someone is looking for the ultimate and unique seafront home or would like to develop a business, this fabulous historic property can provide a variety of amazing opportunities."
The mansion was originally built in 1801 and almost doubled in size 100 years later when further additions and extensions were incorporated.
The name was changed to Bleak House early in the 20th century to recognise the association with Dickens.
The house had been on the market previously two years ago, firstly for £5.2 million and then £3 million.
The property is on the market with Fine & Country. For more details click here
More by this authorMarijke Hall