A string of multi-million pound homes are now for sale in the island, with Bishopscourt being the latest upmarket property to be put on the market.
Bishopscourt, owned by leisure tycoon John Morphet, is available for £6million. He was reported to have bought it for £5million in 2010.
Other high-profile listings include:
â?¢Inventor Dr John Taylor’s palatial home at Arragon Mooar, Old Castletown Road, is on the market for £30m
â?¢Businessman Doug Barrowman and lingerie tycoon Baroness Mone’s house Ballake, in St Mark’s, is available for £25m
â?¢The former home of the late Sir Norman Wisdom, Ballalaugh in Andreas, is available for £1.25m
â?¢Balladoole House in Castletown, which is on the market for £2.5m after the death of its owner.
In addition, estate agent David Creane said that over the last year or so his firm has dealt with a number of high value sales with properties worth between one a half million pounds and £4million.
So is this a sign of an exodus of the very rich from the Isle of Man?
There is no compelling evidence.
Mr Morphet says he’s looking for somewhere else in the island and Dr Taylor is staying here too.
Baroness Mone hasn’t revealed her plans.
The entire Bishopscourt estate is available and comes with 12 bedrooms, three of which are en suite, eight reception rooms, five bathrooms and seven acres of land.
The property, near Kirk Michael, even includes a full-sized chapel.
It is listed for sale with Cowley Groves, of which Mr Creane is the chairman.
The latest occupant, Mr Morphet, who is worth £155 million according to the Sunday Times Rich List, made his fortune in caravans and leisure through the Pure Leisure group.
Mr Morphet is understood to have decided he wants to sell the property because it is too big for him. It is understood he wants to continue living in the island but at a smaller property.
Bishopscourt used to have a number of Pure Leisure staff working from there in the holiday reservations department but they now work from the main offices in the north west of England. Mr Morphet would often use his helicopter to bring managers over from the north west for meetings.
Through Pure Leisure Mr Morphet runs 11 UK holiday parks and the 750-acre Royal Westmoreland estate in Barbados where famous customers include the soccer star Wayne Rooney.
Pure Leisure Group withdrew £3.5m plans for a holiday lodge development at Glen Truan golf course in Bride in June last year after planning officers recommended refusal of its application.
Graham Wilson, director of Manxmove, in his latest quarterly report pointed to the property market in the island being ’a tale of two halves’.
He said: ’For the first time in numerous years our market up to around £500,000 is now definitely a seller’s market with scarce new listings attracting immediate interest from no chain buyers.
’The market above £750,000, however, is still stacked in the buyer’s favour, as this section of the market is not quite as buoyant and it is not currently experiencing the stock shortages of the lower price ranges.’
Mr Creane told the Examiner that the island was still an attractive place for so-called high net worth individuals.
He is also handling the sale of Dr Taylor’s home and his company is marketing the sale through a PR agent around the world.
Bishopscourt has been in private hands only four times ever.
Until 1974 the Bishop’s home had been at Bishopscourt, the original builder of which is believed to have been Simon of Argyll (bishop from 1226-1247).
The exact date of the first building on the site is uncertain and it is believed to have been a wooden structure, which was later replaced by King Orry’s Tower.
In the evolution of Bishopscourt security was paramount and, as a result, some of the walls range between four and 10 feet thick.
Cowley Groves’s website describes the house as ’the most historic house the island has to offer, boasting continual residency since built and trees planted within the grounds by royal appointment’.
The website also details some of the history of Bishopscourt: ’In the English Civil War in which Bishop Parr died, the Earl of Derby refused to appoint a new bishop and instead appropriated Bishopscourt turning it into one of the most important strongholds on the island.
’Following the surrender of Isle of Man to Cromwell’s forces, Bishopscourt was seized by a band of men from Kirk Michael.
’This episode was shortly followed by a period of occupation by the parliamentary commissionaires.
’One of these commissionaires, James Chaloner, was a judge at the trial of King Charles I and is believed to have signed his death warrant. Eventually Bishop Samuel Rutter was appointed in 1661 after the restoration.’
Also included in the sale of Bishopscourt is the Chapel of St Nicholas, the Coach House, which is eight interconnected garages, the chauffeur’s apartment and Bishop’s Herring House.
There is a right of way across the first section of the northern driveway providing access to the neighbouring cottages along with a public footpath, which is clearly fenced.