Forget the two-bed semi by the sea – how about owning your own castle?

The 18th century Grade I listed Castle Goring is on the market, but those hoping for an easy move need not apply.

The grand building sits off the A27 to the west of Worthing in the South Downs National Park and has been home to novelist Mary Shelley and a Navy vice-admiral, among others.

But its modest £500,000 price tag disguises a property that requires millions of pounds of investment.

The Somerset family are believed to have accepted a bid for the country house of around £700,000 after it was advertised with Strutt and Parker estate agents.

Neither the family nor the estate agents will comment on the sale, only confirming that it is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

Whoever does take on Castle Goring will gain a three-storey property that includes more than six bedrooms, inter-connecting reception rooms, a card room with leather wallpaper and a refurbished owner’s apartment at the top complete with kitchen, dining room, two bedrooms and a living room.

However the property only has one bathroom.

And the building, which comes with almost eight acres of land, will need a reported £2 million in renovation work after falling into a “very grave” condition.

Risk of deterioration

English Heritage describes it as being of priority category A for restoration, meaning it is at “immediate risk of further rapid deterioration or loss of fabric with no solution agreed”.

In 2008, councillors called on experts to force entry to the building after reports that it was in danger of collapsing.

Conservationalists highlighted leaks in numerous rooms, smashed windows, fragile roofing and crumbling walls.

The property has been in the hands of the Somerset family since 1845, with Clement Somerset the latest to have inherited it.

A spokesman from English Heritage said: “We are looking forward to working with the new owners of Castle Goring to bring this tremendously important building back into good repair.

“English Heritage will be a consultee on any proposals that are submitted to South Downs National Park Authority, but we hope to work with the new owners in advance of these being finalised.”

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