Game of owns: Best Aussie castles up for sale
FOR some people the phrase a "a man's home is his castle" is literally true.
These men, women and their families have been bringing the Middle Ages into the modern ages with medieval-inspired homes boasting turreted towers, feasting halls, moats and even drawbridges.
Some of the homes were designed in the early 20th century while others are modern homes recently modified to resemble castles by owners often infatuated with entertainment like Lord of the Rings, World of Warcraft or Game of Thrones.
And many of the properties are now up for sale in time for the traditional spring home selling season.
Earlier this week an iconic north shore property structured like a castle was listed for sale, complete with a central sandstone tower surrounded by smaller towers resembling rooks on a chess board.
The four-bedroom house in Castlecrag was built in 1939, but later given a renovation, and while it resembles the castles of old, the price is ultra-modern at $3.2 million-$3.5 million.
Owners Bob and Jennifer Wright said they fell in love with the property the moment they saw it.
"It's like a castle, but it's a home. That's what we really liked," Mrs Wright said. "The family has grown up there. Our kids loved it. Now our grandchildren love it."
Living in a castle had additional perks, she added. "We can stand on top of the circular tower and see the Spit Bridge. The views are amazing. We get lots of attention too. The cars that pass us always slow down."
Selling agent Bernard Ryan of Ray White-Lower North Shore said he was expecting a big crowd when the homes goes to auction September 27.
Another medieval-inspired home up for sale joust in time for spring is a Blue Mountains property known as the Oast House listed for $1.4 million.
The Faulconbridge property's standout feature is a traditional Oast House - a spired tower of sandstone used for drying hops.
Selling agent Helen Harris of Chapman Real Estate said the property was "like stepping into a fairytale".
Vendors Jane and Andrew Cole added that the home was great for their kids who called it their "adventure playground".
Another castle recently on the market was a four-bedroom house in Thirlmere, just outside Camden in Sydney's southwest.
The home, with its sandstone facade resembling a crusader castle, was listed at about $1.49 million but sold in July for an undisclosed price.
Selling agent Jeremy Crawford of McKillop Property said the unique nature of the home drew plenty of interest from buyers, many of who had a strong interest in history.
"Some buyers prefer character homes, they want something that will stand out and you get that with a castle," Mr Crawford said.
Out of state, a three-bedroom castle in Tasmania's Lenah Valley is listed for $975,000 and includes curved walls embedded with shields, a feasting hall and more turreted towers.
In central Victoria, a castle-shaped home with a drawbridge, "great hall", decorative Celtic cross and a facade framed by twin watchtowers is for sale at $460,000.
But for sheer medieval splendour it would hard to match a replica castle on Dowling St in Leumeah - complete with a dungeon, moat, drawbridge and interior stuffed with knight's armour. It recently sold for $480,000.
CoreLogic valuations expert Kevin Brogan said unique features could sometimes devalue a home, but in rare cases it had the opposite effect.
"Some people love castles," he said, adding that there was a catch.
"It has to be in excellent condition. If you have a highly unique attribute like a castle appearance that looks like it will require lots of work to restore, there will be less buyers interested."