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Highcliffe Castle Visitor Centre and Tea Rooms in Dorset

This page is about Highcliffe Castle Visitor Centre and Tea Rooms in Highcliffe, Dorset

The castle was built between 1831 and 1835 on a site previously occupied by a Georgian mansion known as High Cliff which was designed for the 3rd Earl of Bute (a founder of Kew Gardens) with grounds laid out by the famous Capability Brown. It is now a Grade 1 listed building owned by Christchurch B.C.

All that remains of High Cliff are the two entrance lodges which are used as a restaurant and some of the garden walls.

In 1828 Sir Charles Stuart became Lord Stuart de Rothesay and began to pursue his dream of buying his grandfathers estate now that he had retired early. He employed an architect named William Donthorne a founder member of RIBA to design his new home - Highcliffe Castle.
It was built almost L shaped, with much carved medieval stonework from derelict French Abbeys made so after the French Revolation. The most famous peices are an oriel window and a complete stained glass window as well as other stained glass dating back as far as the 12th century from France and other European Countries.

The castle has view from the Oriel window through landscaped gardens across Christchurch Bay to the Needles and the IOW. This remarkable building remained in the family until 1950's when much of the land was sold seperatley. The land has since been developed with bungalows almost up to the castle walls. The castle has been a children's home, a noviciate and seminary for the christian missionary fathers and in 1966 was put up for sale once again.

Contact details

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telephone:  01425 278807
fax: 01425 280423
address:  Rothesay Drive
BH23 4LE

Map | Driving Directions

Opening Times

he Grounds of Highcliffe Castle are open to the public free of charge all year round. They open daily at 7am and will be closed and locked at the following times:

6.30pm November to March
7.30pm April and October
9.00pm May and September
10.00pm June, July and August

Parking charges apply in the Castle Car Park.
Dogs are welcome in the grounds however they must be kept on leads.

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Current rating: 4.1/5 Stars


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Adults 3.35
Accompanied Children Under 16 FREE
Highcliffe Castle Season Ticket Holders FREE
Historic Houses Association Members FREE

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