An Englishman’s Home Is His Castle

Struggling to find accommodation for next year? How about the royal treatment?!


Struggling to find accommodation for next year? How about the royal treatment?

Tired of student houses with their collapsing shelves, leaky showers and bouts of mould? Feeling under-appreciated; need a little something to mark you out as much more wealthy, important and good-looking than your fellow students?

On studentpad.co.uk, a flat in Brancepeth Castle is being marketed as student accommodation for the forthcoming year.

The castle is a grade I listed building, formerly occupied by the First Earl of Somerset (well, in the 17th Century…), and is located 5 miles southwest of Durham city itself.

One of the pictures advertised on the site

The accommodation itself is a 2 bedroom flat on the one habitable floor, which can be rented at a weekly rate of £161 per person, or a monthly rate of £700 per person. Although notably steeper than the prices of the student houses in the Viaduct and Claypath; several houses in the city centre now exceed £100/week, and offer significantly fewer bragging rights.

Moreover, the £700/month rate includes electricity and water. And, after all, IT IS A CASTLE.

The inhabitants could, therefore, legitimately wear a crown to both lectures and Loveshack, and demand to be addressed as ‘Your Highness’. It’s the law.

Furthermore, despite the antique exterior, the flat boasts double-glazing, modern kitchen fittings and a microwave: a little more modern than mediaeval.

On the downside, the property lacks a TV, washing machine, dryer, dishwasher or freezer, so perhaps only those more domestically hands-on students need apply. Or those with their own servants in tow…

According to the landlord, Alison Hobbs, “It’s well over twenty years since we last had students at Brancepeth Castle, mainly because we find that our residents often stay for many years so the turnover is small.

“We are not really a student style property, more of a settled community with a varied profile of tenants. The mix works well.”

The website recommends the accommodation for post-graduate students or couples, rather than undergraduates. Whether this is due to a fear of enthusiastic post-Klute ‘castle parties’, or that the distance from the city itself is considered too great a deterrent for undergraduate lecture attendance, is unbeknown.

Nevertheless, surely in this hypercompetitive job market, the incentive to take a Masters from within one’s own Downton Abbey is an increasingly attractive option…