If the Queen, any member of the royal family or anyone with an eye-watering huge buying budget wanted to bag a mansion in Wales, they have a choice of wonderful, historic homes to choose from, but as the latest data from the Land Registry shows, they had better get a move on as house prices over the decades here have soared.
House prices in parts of Wales have more than quadrupled since the Queen’s Golden Jubilee 20 years ago, rising by 231% in two decades, from an average of £62,346 in 2002 to £206,395 in 2022.
For example, back in March 2002, as the Queen was celebrating 50 years on the throne, the average home in Blaenau Gwent was worth £28,919. By the time she hit her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the average price had risen to £71,574.
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In time for the Platinum Jubilee, the latest house price data from the Land Registry shows average prices in the area were £125,622 in March this year. That’s a 334% rise in 20 years – the second biggest rise in England and Wales overall.
Even at the other end of the scale property prices have increased so much that what was once a rather rare occurrence – a house for sale for over £1m – is now not such a remarkable event. There are currently 212 properties priced at £1m and above listed for sale on Rightmove across Wales.
But not every £1m plus property for sale in Wales, although offering surely a lovely home, land, location and maybe even some outbuildings, are fit for royalty. The most prestigious and expensive homes for sale come with history and pedigree as well as a bundle of unique selling points to impress enough to be fit for a Queen or King.
From a mansion that was once owned by Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin to an island estate once owned by descendants of a Welsh clan leader, six of the most amazing homes for sale can fit the royal brief.
Room for a Royal retreat for all
What does a buying budget of over £7m get you in Wales? Pretty much your own hamlet, a private beach, around 639 acres of land and a stretch of Welsh coastline and a range of separate properties that include a number of tenanted houses, holiday cottages, a lodge and a five-bed farm with a range of farm buildings.
To view The Bodior Estate, once owned by descendants of Welsh clan leader Llywelyn Aurdorchog of Ial will take you a day, but the bundle of buildings offering a rich range of income streams are all worth having a rummage around, as well as the eleven bedroom main Grade II listed country house.
There’s room for all the royals to stay here, well those that are invited and welcome, and there’s plenty of land for wildlife walks that include a lake and a private beach with its own beach hut.
It’s not a shock to discover that the historic estate sits within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Isle of Anglesey, with the property coming with its own stretch of sandy beaches, the largest of which is called Silver Bay, rocky coastline, inlets and a peninsula as part of the land parcel.
The whole package costs £7,750,000 or the package can be cut down to a smaller size to cost £3,575,000 but don’t be too disappointed because that still gets the lucky new owner the main property called Bodior House, gardens and grounds, beaches, two garden cottages, Bryn farmhouse and buildings, plus 315 acres of land that includes a number of the private beaches. Call Savills Country Department on 01952 239 529 or 0207 016 3715 to find out more.
Usk Valley for royal views
Nestled in a sheltered spot high above the valley floor and surrounded by trees and rolling hills, the Grade II* listed building enjoys spectacular, uninterrupted views from its elevated position of the river meandering below and the five-star Celtic Manor Resort’s Ryder Cup 2010 golf course stretching out across the valley floor.
The house is called Glen Usk and is a historic gem that was built in 1820 for Sir Digby Mackworth, the third Baronet of the Gnoll, Glamorgan and achieved its listing due to being ‘an exceptionally fine Neoclassical villa retaining a high level of original or early detail, including good interiors. The architectural centre-piece of a small-scale designed landscape’.
The current owners purchased this truly unique property in 2005 and spent years sympathetically renovating and refurbishing it to a standard that oozes luxury whilst keeping in mind the original Georgian style of the main house.
There are landscape grounds, part of which are listed, overlooking the sweeping Usk Valley to make any King or Queen gasp, converted period outbuildings and the potential to do more, eight bedrooms, six bathrooms and a ‘party wing’ that includes atmospheric cellars with vaulted ceilings.
Glen Usk is on the market with a guide price of £6.5m making it the most expensive of the Royal-ready homes in Wales currently available to buy. Call either Number One Real Estate on 01633 492777 or Fine & Country Usk on 01291 672034 to find out more.
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Ceredigion takes the crown
One of the most expensive posh pads currently on the market in Wales is also one of the most spectacular – a country mansion that is everything an outstanding rural residence worth millions should be. Arriving at this grand pile in the countryside you’d be forgiven for thinking that you will soon be needing to curtsy – or maybe you’re thinking you wish you had worn something a bit smarter for your visit.
And after you find out that in the 1930s the house is said to have been owned by a distant cousin of the Queen’s, Lady Audrey Morris, you will surely find yourself agreeing with the statement that it is one of the finest country estates in Wales.
Called Penylan Mansion the house was designed by the renowned architect Edward Haycock the mansion was constructed around 1854 on the site of an older 18th century residence. The mansion was sold, extended, and redecorated in around 1905. That included some fancy additions that are specifically mentioned by Cadw within its listing details including intricate stencilling, painting, and ultra-fancy cornicing.
The house boasts luxury features to find through the impressive spaces, from alabaster fireplaces to hand-painted friezes, ornate plasterwork to gold leaf details, much of the resorted details were originally undertaken by Morant of London.
The mansion fit for a queen or king comes with about 20 acres, 17 bedrooms across the site, seven bathrooms, 10 reception rooms, a collection of outbuildings, a pool and spa, and a ballroom – you can’t get much more royal than that. Penylan Mansion country estate is on the market with a guide price of £4m with Country Living Group. Call them on 01437 616101 to find out more.
Royals at Rockfield
The house was built on the site of an early religious settlement near the village of Rockfield, established by Ancrerites in the 11th or 12th century, the source of the property’s name, The Ancre Hill. Originally a Welsh longhouse, of which an 18th century fireplace and small cellar remain, the property was altered in the Georgian period, in about 1820 and then remodelled in 1881 and later still two Victorian wings added plus servants’ quarters.
Situated just down the road from the famous Rockfield recording studios, the house can offer the peace of the countryside or a tempting jamming session at the neighbour’s landmark abode that has welcomed artists such as Queen, Coldplay and Oasis, so you’d better get practising.
The result is a beautiful, flowing property with well-proportioned rooms, with high ceilings and windows flooding the spaces with Monmouthshire country views and oceans of light. The current owner says: “It’s got an ambience we can’t really explain. We walk in and it gives us a big hug. We are only the fifth family to live here since 1820 and it has made the most wonderful family home.”
The garden feels like a slice of the Mediterranean, the most sociable area around the gorgeous swimming pool nestled within a charming courtyard. Ancre Hill is on the market for £3,150,000 with Fine & Country Monmouth, call them on 01600 775930 to find out more.
Monmouthshire for the monarch
There’s about 18 acres of land to enjoy at The Regency House – surely that’s enough space for all the royal corgis? This Georgian gem is located within the Brecon Beacons National Park at the foot of the Sugarloaf Mountain with the rolling Black Mountains to the rear so plenty for the pampered pooches to look at too.
The location has been a perfect place to reside for centuries, with Cadw stating that the house that is currently on the site is not the first to occupy the spot but is an early 19th century home originally known as Sunny Bank, Glangrwyne Court and was built by Charles Craycroft.
The country pad comes with a classic walled garden, croquet lawn and tennis court, and plenty of room to put in a swimming pool, plus garages, a wood store, a tractor shed, and a summerhouse. There is also a timber log cabin that could make an ideal home office away from the main house.
Inside the Grade II listed mansion there’s 10 bedrooms, nine bathrooms and four reception rooms, so plenty of space to accommodate most of the family. See inside The Regency House and find out more here. This gem of a country pile is on the market with a guide price of £2m with Savills, call their Cardiff branch on 029 2036 8919 to find out more.
Wooded valley for the Windsors
Called Lancych Mansion, this Grade II listed country residence in Pembrokeshire is a grand abode, instantly impressing any visitor not only with the glorious location but with the distinctive Gothic facade boasting tall chimneys, multi-paned windows and fancy, decorative bargeboards; it’s a great start to any potential royal visit.
And Lancych Mansion is officially a unique and amazing Welsh home, achieving a Grade II* listing from Cadw in 2004 for its ‘exceptional architectural interest as one of the best examples in Wales of the picturesque cottage style’.
The seven bedroom gentry mansion is the result of a grand extension added to the original farmhouse in 1834. It was built for Dr Walter Jones and had been in the same ownership for over four hundred years until its sale in 2003.
One of the unique features for the design of this ultimate extension was its impressive and intricate roof structure with its numerous chimneys serving fireplaces in almost every room. The house claims to have 17 different roofs, but one thing is certain, the ornate roof bargeboards, chimneys, and facias are all very striking.
Within the last 20 years the property has undergone a comprehensive renovation project including the full replacement of the ornate roof structure thanks to the dedication and hard work of the current owners.
There are nine bedrooms on site, seven within the main house and two in the self-contained cottage, nine bathrooms and fifteen acres of land with river frontage along the glistening Afon Cych in the peaceful and idyll wooded valley.
Lancych Mansion is on the market for £1.75m with Country Living Group, call them on 01437 616101 to find out more. And if you never want to miss the best dream homes, renovations and interiors articles, join the Amazing Welsh Homes newsletter for a twice weekly update.