Live like a Queen at Old Rectory – for only £26 million

The Life: Looking for a home fit for a Queen? The Old Rectory may just be for you.

The Old Rectory, Wimbledon's oldest house. Courtesy Knight Frank
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A 16th century house twice owned by women answering to the title of Queen - and once by a member of a band of that name - is on the market for £26 million (Dh153.9m).

Over its centuries, the Old Rectory has been home to Catherine Parr, the last of King Henry VIII's six wives, Queen Henrietta Maria, the lively consort of Charles I, and Brian May, the guitarist for Queen.

Built between 1500 and 1530, the Old Rectory is the oldest home in Wimbledon, or Wimbletown, as the district of London was known back then.

Henry VIII is said to have stayed at the property when he was travelling back to London shortly before his death in 1547. Alas, the monarch in his declining decades was too fat to climb the stairs and had to have a bed built for him on the ground floor.

The price tag includes the main nine-bedroom property, which has numerous public rooms, a gym, a two-bedroom gate lodge and, above the garage, a large studio flat.

Running water was installed at the property in the 17th century, when Henrietta Maria was ruling the roost.

In the 18th century the estate was bought by Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, who after her death left it to her grandson, John Spencer of the Spencer dynasty. During the 20th century the property was variously owned by MJ Jacobs, a builder responsible for a number of the tunnels in New York and Paris, Lord Brock, a London surgeon and cardiologist, as well as Brian May.

In recent years it has undergone a refurbishment to meet modern standards. The gardens were originally created by the garden designer of Hampton Court Palace. Many of the camellias and rhododendrons surrounding the building were brought over from Italy's Lake Como area to add colour.

The current owners have planning permission for a swimming pool and tennis court for the north-facing lawn, which overlooks the home of the Wimbledon tennis tournament, the All England Lawn Tennis Club.