Cheap for a castle! Dinton Folly is snapped up for £56,000 at auction by businessman who plans to use it as weekend hideaway

Dinton Folly
Dinton Folly

A supposedly haunted castle near Aylesbury has been sold for £56,000 and is set to be returned to its former glory.

In an exclusive interview with the Bucks Herald’s Andrew Kay, the new owner of Dinton Castle on the A418 Oxford Road, Brett O’Connor, pledged to work with councils and English Heritage to return the 1769 Grade II listed building to a place where his family can stay at weekends.

The building was listed for £75,000 and despite interest from across Europe only two parties contested the auction on Monday afternoon in Aylesbury.

It later transpired that the unsuccessful bidding couple had offered to pay the full price the day it was put up for sale – but their offer was rejected by the owner.

By the time the auction took place (today) the couple had purchased a run-down cottage to renovate instead – and say they could not afford to offer more than the winning bid of £56,000.

Mr O’Connor has pledged to restore the building using authentic limestone from the area and estimates it could be completed within five years.

He said he was ‘delighted’ and had expected to pay more for the octagonal building, constructed on a Saxon burial ground.

The folly was built by the former owner of Dinton Hall, Sir John Vanhattem, who used it to store his fossil collection.

The 250 year old ruin is said to be haunted by the ghost of John Mayne, King Charles I’s executioner in 1649 – who lived nearby.

Under the plans, the new owner aims to restore it to a three-storey building with a staircase in the east tower and fireplace on each floor.

Mr O’Connor, a successful businessman who has sold a number of companies, visited the site for the first time on Friday.

> To read the full story pick up a copy of Wednesday’s Bucks Herald.