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Greeba Castle, Main Road, Greeba

£1,395,000 - For Sale

The Numbers
  • Status
  • For Sale
  • Bedrooms
  • 9 bedroom icon
  • Bathrooms
  • 5 bath icon
  • Receptions
  • 5 reception icon
  • Asking Price
  • £1,395,000
The Description

One of the Isle of Man’s most distinctive private houses, the former home of celebrated writer Sir Hall Caine. Built in Victorian Gothic style in 1849, Greeba Castle retains many original features and provides a unique opportunity to acquire a gracious home of literary and historical stature. Set in some seven acres of secluded grounds, the castellated residence is distinguished by elegantly proportioned rooms with lofty ceilings. Complementing the imposing main residence is a separate guest/staff cottage, a sensitive contemporary re-imagining of the former stable block, while deep in the wooded grounds is the studio, (now derelict), used by Hall Caine for his writing.

Features include:
Wealth of original features; decorative cornices, deep architraves, parquet flooring, solid oak and pine joinery and stained glass window detailing
Drawing Room; Formal Dining Room; Sitting Room; Breakfast Room; Kitchen; 5/6 Bedrooms; 2/3 Bathrooms
Fully modernised 3 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom Cottage
Approximately 7 acres of secluded grounds
Oil fired central heating; Alarm system

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The Features

Greeba Castle was built in 1849 for William Nowell, a gentleman from Manchester who settled on the Isle of Man. The architect was a local man, John Robinson, who also built the Bank of Mona in Douglas, now the seat of the Manx Parliament. There is a legend that William Nowell staked his house on a game of cards and lost. Next morning, when he had sobered up and realised what he had done, he went to the winner and tried to buy it back but the man would not part with it. Whether there is any truth in this story is impossible to prove now but it is true that Nowell bought the land adjoining the Castle on its eastern side and got Robinson to design him an almost identical but slightly smaller house, Greeba Towers.

During the summer of 1893, while renting Greeba Castle, Caine wrote one of his most successful and best-known novels, The Manxman. It was an immediate and huge success. By 1913 the book had sold had a million copies and been translated into 12 languages. It was published simultaneously in New York by Appleton’s and had an enormous success in the States, making Caine a household name there. Tourists in droves poured into the Isle of Man to see where the Manxman had lived and loved. In due course they included Queen Alexandra. ‘The visiting industry’ as Caine called it, had been growing for some time but this novel electrified it. His novels put the Isle of Man on the map as a tourist destination.

Hall Caine bought Greeba Castle on 10 March, 1896. Greeba Castle remained his home for the rest of his life.

Work on the house went on for years. Using his early training, Caine was his own architect. A new entrance was made by building a balustraded terrace along the west front – they called it ‘the piazza’ – approached by a shallower flight of steps. A new front door was installed in place of the window of a small room which became the new entrance hall. An oak beam with an archway was built across the entrance hall and on it Caine carved a quotation from Amiens’ song in Shakespeare’s As You Like It: ‘Here Shall Ye See No Enemy But Winter and Rough Weather’. He signed it HC and dated it 1897. All of which still remains in the house. A large conservatory was built on the side of the house. Double doors with stained glass lights led into it from what was then the dining room. There is more stained glass in the rest of the house. The style is typical of the Arts and Crafts movement.

As Caine’s fame spread people came from literally all over the world in the hope of seeing him and if he was away, they would just gaze at his house. A succession of journalists interviewed him and wrote articles about ‘Hall Caine at Home.’ He received many noted literary guests at Greeba, including his dear friend, Bram Stoker, as well as the film director, Alfred Hitchcock, who directed the film adaptation of The Manxman, which is his last silent film.

The house has remained in the same family since Hall Caine’s death – it passed first to his sons, then to his granddaughter, and then to her daughter, who is the current owner.

Travelling on the A1 from Douglas towards Peel Greeba Castle is to be found on the right, approximately 1.8 miles before the traffic lights at the Ballacraine crossroads, and is approached by a sweeping driveway bordered by lawns, mature trees and shrubs. Enjoying an elevated yet supremely secluded setting, the property is conveniently located close to the capital, Douglas, Peel and St John’s village.

Reception Hall (Approx 17’4 x 11’9)
Front door with stained glass panels and matching side panels, oak beamed ceiling. Imposing carved fireplace with cast iron dog grate, tiled slips and hearth, oak panelled recess and lintel carved with the legend H.C.1897. Here Shall Ye See No Enemy But Winter And Rough Weather.

Inner Hall (Approx 31’5 x 8’6)
Oak floor, leaded light stained glass window, understairs cupboard.

Drawing Room (Approx 32’0 x 17’4)
Marble fireplace with cast iron dog grate and brass fender, floor to ceiling secondary glazed window with stained glass top lights, built-in cocktail/drinks cabinet with solid pine door, leaded light-glazed double doors to:

Double Aspect Dining Room (Approx 24’7 x 14’9)
Double glazed window with views of the expansive lawn and garden.

Sitting Room (Approx 18’8 x 17’0)
Carved marble fireplace with tiled hearth, secondary glazed window with stained glass top lights.

Breakfast Room (Approx 16’4 x 14’1)
Tiled floor, Double glazed double patio doors to:

Conservatory (Approx 14’1 x 11’1)
Tiled floor, door to expansive lawn and garden.

Kitchen (Approx 14’1 x 8’10)
Range of laminate-countered base units with stainless steel sink unit, Neff four-burner ceramic hob and extractor hood, stainless steel splashback and Siemens dishwasher. Neff double oven and integrated refrigerator. Banks of under-lit wall cabinets, part tiled walls, tiled floor. Door to staircase leading to turret affording panoramic views.

Utility/Store Room (Approx 15’8 x 9’2)
Belfast sink, plumbing for washing machine, Warmflow oil-fired boiler. Door to fuel store.

Inner Lobby
Tiled floor, door to side elevation.

Coat Store
Wash hand basin set on laminate counter, triple built-in wardrobe. Intruder alarm unit, tiled floor.

Corner wash hand basin, W.C. Half tiled walls, tiled floor.

First Floor
Half landing with stained glass leaded light window.

Master Bedroom (Approx 17’4 x 14’5)
Secondary glazed window. Impressive double height ceilings and moldings throughout.

En Suite Bathroom
Panelled bath, with Aqualisa shower attachment, pedestal wash hand basin with tiled splashback, W.C., chrome heated towel rail/radiator, part tiled walls, access to roof space. Door to landing.

Bedroom (Approx 18’8 x 11’9)
Double glazed window.

Bedroom (Approx 15’8 x 14’5)
Carved fireplace with tiled hearth and brass fender, secondary glazed window.

Bedroom (Approx 15’8 x 10’2)
Double aspect, two built-in wardrobes, linen cupboard with hot water cylinder, door to turret staircase.

Bedroom (Approx 13’1 x 12’9)
Fireplace with carved mantelpiece, recess with book shelves, secondary glazed window.

Bedroom/Bathroom (Approx 17’8 x 11’5)
Tiled shower compartment with smoked glass door and Aqualisa shower unit, panelled bath, pedestal wash hand basin, W.C. Access to roof space.

Wash hand basin set on vanity unit, W.C., chrome heated towel rail/radiator, stained glass window, tongue and groove panelled walls, arch to bathing area with panelled bath.

Independent Guest/Staff Cottage

Entrance Porch

Entrance Hall (Approx 9’10 x 8’10)
Tiled floor, exposed brickwork.

Utility Room (Approx 9’2 x 6’2)
Tiled floor.

With tongue and groove panelled walls leading to:

Bedroom (Approx 16’0 x 11’9)

Panelled bath, pedestal wash hand basin, W.C., chrome heated towel rail, part tiled walls, tiled floor.

Kitchen/Dining Room (Approx 23’11 x 8’10)
Original stable block double doors behind full-height double glazed pine-framed sliding door to garden, built-in pine-panelled cupboards and drawers, range of laminated-topped base units with integrated Neff dishwasher, ½ bowl stainless steel sink unit, Belling multi-function electric oven with four-burner ceramic hob and warming zone, under-lit wall cabinets, exposed brickwork and part tongue and groove panelled walls, tiled floor, stairs to:

Mezzanine Level Living Room (Approx 21’3 x 11’1)
Pine shelving/seating, part exposed Manx stone walls, exposed beams, oak flooring, Fakro roof window. Steps to:

Study Area (Approx 15’1 x 6’10)
Recessed shelving, exposed beam, Fakro roof window, double glazed patio doors to garden.

Bedroom (Approx 13’1 x 12’1)
Built-in desk/dressing table. Door to lobby leading to:

Tongue and groove panelled spa bath, corner shower enclosure with curved glass double doors, rain shower head and hand spray, wash hand basin, chrome heated towel rail, part tiled walls, tiled floor.

Pedestal wash hand basin, W.C., tiled floor.

7 acres of secluded grounds with meandering pathways, sweeping lawns, mature trees and shrubs. Deep within the grounds is the studio, (now derelict) to where Hall Caine would go to write. Twin garden stores housing oil-fired boiler for underfloor heating to cottage,

Gardener’s W.C. 

Mains electricity, private drainage, oil heating.

Rateable Value

Rates Payable


By appointment through the Agent, Black Grace Cowley.

Map and More Info

  • Bedrooms99 Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms 5 Bathrooms 5 Bathrooms 5 Bathrooms 5 Bathrooms 5 Bathrooms
  • Receptions55 Receptions

Greeba Castle
Main Road, Greeba

£1,395,000 See Details