Extreme Fixer Uppers: Castles That Have Been Flipped From Ruin

Monica Gray - October 20, 2023

If you’ve ever wanted to live in a fairytale, now is your chance, as long as you’re ready to work for it. These castles have been flipped from their crumbling ruins and are now on the market to buy. With a little elbow grease, you can curate your very own dream life amongst the princes and princesses that once wandered these halls. These castles are selling for a decent price, and though the work you put into it might cost you more than you thought, we promise it’s worth the effort. Besides, how many of your friends live in a castle? Think about all the eccentric dinner parties you can host in the future!


The Besozzo Castle

If you’re looking for an extreme fixer-upper that’ll set you back €280k, this Italian castle can be yours. It dates back to the 15th century when it hosted Giuseppe Garibaldi. This castle is equipped with its very own swimming pool. As the sellers put it, the castle “sits in a dominant position in Besozzo old town and is characterized by a beautiful Renaissance-style entrance portal and an elegant courtyard with eighteenth-century decorations and balconies. Traces of Renaissance graffiti decorations can be seen in the rear wing of the beautiful courtyard.” If you want to sleep in a living piece of art, then this is the castle for you. You’ll have high coffered ceilings, original flooring, and bright windows that look out to a gorgeous yard. The castle even comes with original period furniture, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms (Castleist).


Il Castello – XVI Century

If you have 500k euros lying around and want to invest in a castle in Italy, then this is the property for you. The seller has flipped these ruins in hopes of making a good profit. It’s located in the historic town of Aradeo and was built in the 16th century. There’s a garden that stretches more than a hectare, bright spaces, stone fireplaces, a mosaic floor, and an ancient oil mill. Upstairs, the two upper floors need some serious restoration, but if you’re ready to get your hands dirty, then this might not bother you. It’s close to the Ionian coast, which means you’ll have access to a nearby beach whenever you want (Coldwell Banker).


Renovated Rectangular 11th Century Tower

You can live the life of Rapunzel by buying this 11th-century tower, though we don’t recommend letting Prince Charming climb up it using only your hair. It has three living floors, original stone walls, a fully equipped kitchen, loveseat windows, and original architectural features, a roof terrace, and a cellar. The garden measures 85 sqm, and the entire property sits at the foothills of the Pyrenees in the ‘Montsec the Rubíes’ mountain range. If you’re a wine fanatic, you’ll love to hear that you’ll get beautiful routes of the wine region of Costers del Segre (Castleist).


The Derelict Watchtower In Italy

Don’t be put off by the word derelict. Even though this crumbling watchtower in Italy is slowly decaying into ruins, it has the potential to be salvaged. It’s located in the peaceful hills north of Perugia and dates back to the 11th century. According to the sellers, “The property consists of a still-standing tower with two adjoining buildings all in stone, with interesting features including tall windows and stone arches. Large piles of stone building blocks surround these and provide a ready source of material for an eventual restoration.” The watchtower makes it easy for restoration, as all the source materials are already there, waiting for you! You’ll get seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms, with several large reception rooms. It’s surrounded by gorgeous woods and unspoiled Umbrian countryside (Castleist).

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The 13th Century Castle

This castle complex, located in Upper Lusatia, sits on an idyllic hilly and mountainous landscape, encompassed by thick, dense forests. It’s selling for €800,000 ($838k) and even comes with its moat. The rooms are expansive, sophisticated, and elegant, with soaring high ceilings to match. The last time it saw renovations was in 1975, so it’s certainly in need of a lot of elbow grease (Love Property).

Love Property

The Historic English Grain Tower

This one is a success story! Imagine if you could only reach your house twice per day. That’s exactly what happens with this tower. The buyer can only reach it twice per day during low tide, otherwise, he has to take a boat. He bought the 19th-century defensive tower for £150,000 ($181k). It’s located on the mouth of the River Medway, off the coast of Kent’s Isle of Grain. Even though there’s a lot of mystery surrounding the buyer and his reason for purchasing this tower, one thing is for sure. They’ll have to plan their days around the tide, which is likely something most of you probably wouldn’t want to do (Love Property).


A Picturesque Castle In Wales

For £200k-£250k, you can wander the halls of this gorgeous castle in Wales, United Kingdom. It’s clearly in need of significant restoration, but the sellers promise it’s full of potential. This is a great project if you’re looking to open your bed and breakfast, considering this property has 29 bedrooms. You’ll also get a small theater, a chapel, and extensive gardens. The best part of this property is the two tennis courts also included with the property. That seems like a bargain, right? (Castle).


A Rustic Four Bedroom Castle

Listen to the stories these walls tell, considering this castle dates back to the 12th century. It’s a four-bedroom castle in Italy in Rioscco, recently reconstructed to fit a slew of luxurious amenities. This includes a pool, grill, and pizza oven, perfect for summer days when you have your friends over to show off your gorgeous new home. It won’t need as much renovation as some of the others on this list, but with a little TLC, it’ll become a perfect place to live (Bobvila).


Island Sea Fort

Isn’t it many people’s dreams to live in a private island sea fort? For £150k ($184k), this property can be yours in Wales. It dates back to the years 1850-1852 when it originally stood as a gun fort to protect the town of Milford Haven. Now, you can guard the gun fort, and the only way you can access this property is to take a boat. It looks like it needs a lot of restoration, although simply living on a private island in Wales is probably enough to convince you to buy this property (Castleist).


The 15th-Century Castle

You can dominate the deep gorges of La Dore by inhabiting this castle. It has a massive dungeon dating back to the 13th century. According to the sellers, “The house was redeveloped in the 18th century by the former prior just before the Revolution and in the 1910s, its owner, the painter Louis Retru, renovated it and enriched it with a neo-Gothic interior.” Talk about originality! If you’re a Halloween fanatic, you can finally host epic Halloween parties in the dungeon, which has a domed vaulted room. There’s also a “monumental fireplace, a painted ceiling and murals, an office of 8 m² with a wooden floor Versailles and a living room of 14 m² with monumental fireplace and a trilobed window.” This is a living piece of art, equipped with murals and a vaulted stone cellar. It’s selling for €396,000 ($420k) (Castleist).


A 14th-Century Castle In France

Dating back to 1450-1480, this castle has a quadrangular main building flanked by two towers and a staircase tower. It has three floors, a spiral staircase, and large vaulted cellars, all in ruins. But if you’re ready to put in the work, you can live in this historic monument. There’s a circular garden facing the castle, several bedrooms, a living room, a fireplace, and an attic. You’ll even have a barn the remains of a moat and an old bread oven. If you’re ready to hand over €274k ($290k), then this can be yours (Castleist).

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The Roebuck Castle

You don’t need a bank account with millions of dollars to live in a castle. The Roebuck castle can be yours for only £165,700 ($200k), proving that anything is possible. It’s located in. Birmingham, Alabama, and dates back to 1967. Even though it’s one of the younger castles on this list, it doesn’t mean it’s any less special. It needs some serious renovations, but if you’re ready to put in the work, then it’s worth it. You’ll have four bedrooms spread out over four stories, all of which are adjustable. This isn’t a project for the lazy or faint-hearted. The castle is missing windows and has an exterior that’s slowly succumbing to Mother Nature. You’ll need to bring your creativity and imagination to the table if you want to make this castle work for you (Love Property).


The Cottonland Castle

Dating back 129 years, this Cottonland Castle in Waco, TX has made its way back to the market and potentially into your arms! It’s undergone tons of renovations over the past several years, but all that behind-the-scenes work has paid off. The German-style stone castle needs a new owner to give it even more TLC and appreciate all of its assets, like the 9-foot-oak front door, “elaborate Honduran mahogany mill-work, fine quartersawn oak, intricate diamond-paned windows, eight fireplaces (one of carved French Caen stone and another of pink granite) and exquisite light fixtures all of which have been thoughtfully protected.” It still needs tons of work, but doesn’t every home? Hopefully, it will once again shine and receive the love it deserves (Ashley W).


The French Medieval Watchtower

Come and grab this medieval watchtower for €245k ($260k) in Savoie, France. It was built on a rocky outcrop and was once part of the defense system of the Maurienne Valley. It now has around 125m² of living space, situated across five levels. This is a true symbol of local heritage, with a breathtaking view of the gorgeous surrounding valley. There’s a large entrance of 22m², which occupies the ground floor. The two upper floors each have a bedroom of over 20m². There’s also an open kitchen and living area and a fourth floor that operates as an artist’s studio. If you want a mix of historic heritage and contemporary design, then this is the perfect project for you (Castleist).

One Dome

The Farmhouse Castle

This derelict, traditional farmhouse is set in a beautiful, secluded location in the hillsides of Cothi Valley. It’s perfect for a family as it’s a four-bedroom house with a three-bedroom cottage. It’s encompassed by beautiful trees and a stream. It costs around $275k, which is a great price for something that could stay in your family for a lifetime (One Dome).

Bob Vila

A Large Plot In France

This castle is situated on a sprawling, gorgeous 24-hectare plot in Ile-de-France. It has all the pomp and sophistication anyone could want in a castle, with four fully renovated floors and 40 rooms. As you wander the halls, you can get a sense of the lavish lifestyle its inhabitants once had, more than three centuries ago. The extensive grounds surrounding the castle provide the perfect setting for picturesque gardens, leisurely strolls, and perhaps even hosting grand events, making it an enchanting estate that invites you to relive the opulence of a bygone era. (Bobvila).

Bob Vila

A Castle With The Original Design

Originally erected in the 17th century, this stunning French castle sits between the Nîmes and Uzès. It still boasts its original design elements from that period. This includes a vaulted stairway and a main gallery, all flanked by gorgeous living spaces that will make you feel like a prince and princess. As long as you put a bit of TLC into this castle, you can turn it into something you love. You’ll get spacious land surrounding the castle, which can be your playground (Bobvila).

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A Dreamy 16th-Century Fortress

If you want to reside in the glorious Spanish countryside with your dream renovation project, then this fortress is calling your name. It’s situated close to the historic city of Ourense. It showcases a Baroque style with a defensive tower and stunning exterior brickwork. It’s on the market for £502,700 ($607k). At some point in time, it was converted to a manor house, which means it has spaces equipped for living. It’s nestled on an acre of land and is spacious with three floors and three bedrooms. The large basement is the perfect place to host parties or cuddle up with your family during movie nights. (Love Property).

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An Italian Castle With Two Private Beaches

This castle is not only near one, but two private beaches. It’s situated in the resort town of Lake Maggiore, with stunning views out to the second-largest lake in the country. Next to the beaches, you’ll have an annex and a small cottage to store your outdoor tools or private boat. According to the sellers, it was “Built in the late 19th century, the castle spans over 129,000 square feet of living space and boasts three levels, including service rooms and two cellars. A large foyer greets you upon entry with a sumptuous marble staircase, while an elevator can transport you from floor to floor if you were to tire of the castle’s many stairs.” (Love Property).

Bob Vila

The Perfect Summer Home

If you’re looking to spend a bit of cash to find your perfect summer home, then you need to invest in this castle. It’s situated near Figeac, making it an extremely desirable place to live during those gorgeous summer months. Whether you’re on a stroll outdoors enjoying the view or warming your hands on a cool summer evening against the wooden hearth, you’ll feel right at home. It’s one of the most scenic castles in the country and for a great price. With a bit of time invested into turning this into a liveable space, you’ll have your very own royal home (Bobvila).

Bob Vila

A Castle In The Rhône Valley

Previously erected from feudal lands, this rustic, ancient castle portrays the true charm of 11th-century France. It’s complete with wrought-iron gates, towers, mullioned windows, and simple architecture that you wouldn’t find in any modern home. With a bit of elbow grease, you can rework the interior so it becomes liveable. Best of all, you’ll have gorgeous views of Mont Pilat, all for a whopping 749,000 Euros ($790k) (Bobvila).

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A Castle With Twenty Bedrooms

If you want a sprawling castle to retire to in the evening, you might want to invest in this castle in Southampton, UK. This can be a fun DIY project that’s worth all the effort. With so many different rooms, you can decorate each room with a different theme, color, or whatever your imagination wants. According to the seller, “The New Forest manor house sits on grounds of approximately 3.8 acres and dates back to the early 19th century. There’s a small area in the center that may have been a Tudor hunting lodge. We love the multi-paneled windows that proliferate throughout, throwing natural light into each room.” It might look a little abandoned, but that’s where your hands come in. It comes at a hefty price of $2.3 million but is worth the price (Love Property).

Bob Vila

The Battlement Castle

This is one of the more expensive properties on this list, but once you see these ruins and their potential, you’ll understand why. Since the gorgeous renovations in the early 1900s, this Spanish castle looks like it’s straight out of a movie. It dates back to the 13th century when it was previously an outpost for the military. You’ll get the aged abode, with 50 living spaces, a pasture with Iberian pigs, and a museum for 14.5 million euros (Bobvila).


A Historic Fortified House

This historic Romanian castle, priced at €400k ($424k), is a unique opportunity to own the country’s oldest documented fortified house. The castle is part of the National Heritage and the Măldărești Museum Complex, with a rich history featured in Romanian films. The exterior pillars, dating back to the 16th century, were designed for defense against Ottoman incursions. The castle’s backstory is equally captivating, starting in 1516 when Nan the Cupbearer built a defense tower. It’s an unchanged piece of history with a massive oak door, arches, and a defense tower accessible by a ladder and rope. (Castleist).


A Quirky, Derelict Castle In Ireland

There’s nothing better than a quirky property with a lot of personality. This is a unique opportunity to buy a piece of historic Ireland. This castle spans three stories and was built in 1840 by a man named Johnny Roche. It’s spread across 2.5 acres. The structure sits alongside the river but needs serious completion to live up to modern standards. It flanks the gorgeous River Awbeg, and includes square-headed window openings, limestone eaves, and bowed turrets (Castleist).


A Castle In The Forest

Perched on top of a knoll, this castle gazes at the banks of the Ain. The river gushes down the Jura Mountains, and flows onto the plains, giving you fast access to the city of Lyon. The nearest village is only a few miles away, so you feel like you’re secluded but have enough access to groceries and restaurants so you don’t feel completely isolated (Castleist).

Bob Vila

Live The Life Of Irish Royalty

If you tend to err on the good side of luck, then you might want to invest in this gorgeous, derelict castle. Nothing screams medieval more than this castle, with its four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and Celtic architecture. No sound will penetrate its thick walls or oak ceiling beams. Wander up and down the stone staircase and worn flagstone floors to make it known that you’re royalty (Bobvila).

Bob Vila

This French Chateau With A Moat

If you want to go all in and spend 3.5 million euros, then this 16th-century dwelling is all yours. It’s as authentic as castles can get and has a centuries-old charm that emphasizes its architecture. Even though it needs quite a bit of renovation, at the very least, it’s set up for modern luxuries with its two-car garage and heated pool, all spread out across 5,000 square feet. This grand estate offers a remarkable opportunity to restore and transform a genuine historical gem into a luxurious modern residence, combining the best of both worlds for those seeking a unique and opulent lifestyle. (Bobvila).