UK’s most expensive home once owned by George II’s son sold for a record $230 million.
The grand estate, dubbed Park Place, recently sold to Russian billionaire Vladimir Lisin for a record $230 million. This is the latest sale of a trophy residence across south-east England to wealthy overseas buyers. The massive country house was built in the 18th century near Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom.
While the home may be 300 years old, the interior was recently redone by former owner, developer Michael Spink, who bought the property back in 2007 for $64 million. Spink shelled-out a whopping $160 million in renovation and reconstruction.
Rooms of the main house still have the original huge stone fireplaces and stained glass windows and the original sale also included several other properties, including three houses, 10 tenanted cottages and eight other in need of renovation. During the French revolution, the property’s owner, General Seymour Conway, developed large caves beneath the property into a chamber that can be reached through a tunnel and six vaulted openings.
The property also includes about 200 acres of the parklands, listed monuments, stables, two golf courses and even a boat house on the Thames. It was recently used in the remake of the film St. Trinians.
The Franco-Italian mansion once belonged to Frederick Prince of Wales, the eldest son of George II. Prince Frederick never ascended to the throne, dying before his father in 1751, at the age of 44. Ostracized from his father’s court, the prince loved spending time at Park Place. His children, including the future George III, spent many years of their childhood there. His widow, Princess Augusta, decided to move and sold the property to General Conway.
In 1763, Humphrey Gainsborough, brother of the artist Thomas Gainsborough designed Conway’s Bridge on the estate, which still carries traffic today.
Later it was owned by the Earl of Malmesury, whose visitors included the Prince Regent and the Tsar of Russia.
Oddly, the grounds house the spire of St Bride’s Church in London‘s Fleet Street. Damaged by lightning in the early 19th century, it was bought by the then owner of Park Place and erected to mark Queen Victoria‘s accession.
A more recent owners included John Latsis, a Greek shipping billionaire, the local council which ran it as a boarding school and a couple of developers that intended to turn it into a country club.
The ghost of Mary Blandy, who was accused of poisoning her father in 1752, is said to haunt the grounds.
Vladimir Lisin, 54. was born on May 7, 1956 in Ivanovo. is a Russian steel tycoon. The Russian billionaire is considered by Forbes magazine to be the richest man in Russia and 14th richest in the world. His estimated net worth is $24 billion. Dr. Lisin is married, with three children: Vyacheslav, Dmitry, and Alexander. They were born in 1972, 1983, and 1994.