AN EIGHT-bedroom home has been put on the market for nearly £2.5million, but the sale would see the the new owner picking up the keys to more than just the house.

The Bishop’s Waltham property, set in 9.7acres of land and owned by one Hampshire culture’s leading figures, comes with a tennis court, gym and swimming pool – plus the ruins of a 12th century palace.

The £2.475m asking price would also see the owner secure five bathrooms, an annex, a former coach house and paddocks.

Alan Lovell, a well-known businessman and chairman of the board of trustees at Hampshire Cultural Trust, said he was selling the home because he needed to downsize.

Daily Echo:

He said: “We’ve been there for 30 years, but our girls have moved out now. We would ideally like to live locally.”

Being sold by estate agents Savills, the property is described as having “an array of characterful period features”.

The annex would also be “ideal for a nanny, gardener or relative consists of a sitting room, bedroom, bath room, kitchen and has its own entrance”.

Within the gardens there are also man-made streams built as far back as the 13th century.

The property currently has planning permission to extend the master bathroom and add a shower room.

“The house (Palace House) was built primarily in the 1690s. It’s the only house that’s within the walls of the palace ruins.

“Some of the materials from the palace were used for the house.”

According to English Heritage, which maintains the ruins, Bishop’s Waltham Palace was one of the homes of the Bishop of Winchester, one of the richest churchmen in Europe at the time, during the middle ages.

It was first built by Henry of Blois in the 12th century, and was remodelled and extended in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The palace was badly damaged in the Civil War before being abandoned.

As well as housing bishops and hosting kings Henry II and Richard I, it was home to Admiral Sir Andrew Browne Cunningham, one of Britain’s most distinguished naval commanders of modern times, after the Second World War.

In the 16th Century Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell and Cardinal Wolsey often stayed, and The Treaty of Waltham was signed, which pledged an alliance between Henry VIII and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

Mary I waited at the Palace before her marriage to Philip of Spain in Winchester Cathedral.

The site is open to the public and free to visit.