Real Estate

English Estate Where The Magna Carta Was Signed Lists For $5.9M

History buffs, take note: A nearly 200-year-old English home on a property steeped in centuries of British history has just hit the market.

“It was here that King John, with the protection of a circle of walnut trees and gentle curve of the river, which would keep enemy long bows out of range, met with his rebellious barons … and signed the Magna Carta,” the listing description for an estate on Magna Carta Island in Windsor, England reads.

The gothic-style property, now listed at £4.25 million (roughly $5.93 million) by John Fisher of United Kingdom Sotheby’s International Realty, was constructed as it stands today in 1834 and is a Grade II listed building on England’s National Heritage List. That distinction means “every effort [should be made] to preserve it,” and that any changes made to the property’s interior or exterior would require approval and adherence to specific regulations.

In 1215, under threat of civil war, King John signed the Magna Carter, or “great charter,” that declared the sovereign would be subject to the rule of law and that individual rights of the king’s council of barons would be guaranteed, among other provisions. Parts of the document are still included in British law today, and laid a foundation for ideas regarding individual liberties put forth in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

At the property where this historic signing took place, there now exists a stone commemorating the event in a specially built “charter room.” Within that room, the walls are adorned with the crest of King John and the 25 barons who were elected to keep the Magna Carta safe, including Richard de Montfichet, who was the owner of the island at the time.

The main property, which is “in need of modernisation,” according to the listing, still “has considerable charm.” The seven-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home contains a “magnificent” dining room with detailed wood paneling, a fireplace and a banquet table that can seat 16. The sweeping lawn includes a swimming pool and a tree planted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1974 to commemorate her visit to the site that year.

A secondary cottage located on the grounds opposite the primary home contains a reception room, kitchen and breakfast room, a sitting room, one bedroom, one bathroom and a study.

Situated along the Thames River, the property encompasses about 1,200 feet of river bank access. A small bridge provides passage from the island to the mainland where one can connect to roads leading to Windsor, Heathrow and London.

Tudor buffs may also be interested to know the property neighbors the land on which the Ankerwycke Yew sits, an ancient yew tree that was rumored to be where Henry VIII held his first meetings with Anne Boleyn in the 1530s.

Those who just want a taste of the old English lifestyle can currently rent out the entire estate on Airbnb for about $1,100 per night.

Email Lillian Dickerson

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