Well, it’s not really a castle but I like the headline pun – so sue me. Yes, the richest artist in the world ($300+ million) just bought this five-story, 18 bedroom manse for $57 million. Commissioned by the Prince Regent, and considered one of the finest examples of its kind, it was built by the architect John Nash in 1811. Its imposing facade and half-acre garden make it one of the most unique houses in Central London. It was owned for nearly 50 years by Anne Van Lanschot and her businessman husband, Ian Mackeson-Sandbach. They bought it soon after they were married, but after Ian’s death in 2012, Anne had decided it was time to move on.
“When we bought it, my only condition was that it had a garden. We were at a party – the Queen Mother was there too – and noticed a For Sale sign outside the house, and bought it. Crazy, really.”
Hirst already has an extensive property portfolio. His main residence is a 300-year-old farmhouse in Combe Martin, North Devon, on 24 acres, but he has also has a beach home in Mexico and Toddington Manor, the magnificent 300-room mansion in the Cotswolds. It was designed by Lord Sudeley and built in 1820 with a style later echoed in the Houses of Parliament. Poverty forced the fourth Lord Sudeley to sell it in 1894. A retired businessman, David Wickens, bought it in the early Seventies and ran it as a school for foreign students. But after the school closed, it stood empty for 20 years, falling into disrepair, before it was bought by Hirst for around $5 million in 2008. It will no doubt take tens of millions to restore and renovate. According to Hirst it will house his ever-expanding blue chip art collection (Warhol, Bacon, Freud and likely some Hirst too) and be open to the public “sometime toward the end of my life.”