If you’ve always dreamed of buying a 350-year-old French chateau worth more than £1 million, but only have a tenner in your pocket, then today could be your lucky day.
A British owner of a chateau in the Dordogne, which is worth £1.23 million, is offering it up as a competition prize – and entrants only have to pay £10 to enter the draw.
Ruth Phillips, 61, owns Chateau de Cautine, which boasts nine bedrooms, a 12m swimming pool and 30 acres of land.
Built in 1667, it is located in the most easterly point of the Dordogne, in the Department of Corrèze.
Ms Phillips has decided to put the house up as a prize in a competition to find a new owner.
The property comes with a piggery and a separate three-bedroom cottage and two large stone barns.
It has been valued by a French estate agent at £1.23m.
Entrants must pay £10 and answer two questions correctly to enter the draw for the castle.
All profits will fund a community interest company run by Ms Phillips, the Eco Village Development Company, which will build affordable, alternative housing.
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Five per cent of all ticket sales income will also be donated to St Petroc’s Society, a Cornish charity for homeless people.
Ms Phillips, from Truro, Cornwall, said: “It’s captivating, the place, when you walk through the gates you feel stunned.
“Not only is the house beautiful but the location, it’s on a hill and drops away into a valley and you are in deep nature.
“It’s a magical place in the middle of the wilderness – you feel like you have fallen into a deep cushion of trees and green.
“I’m really happy that someone else is going to get it and have chance to appreciate it, it’s a magical property – everyone who comes says that.”
She has lived in the chateau for almost a decade and made efforts to turn the property into an eco village.
Her aim was to provide sustainable and affordable housing for those who can’t afford their first step on the housing ladder.
But now she is selling up to spend more time with her family back in the UK.
“I’ve been starting with this eco village in France, it’s the work I have done for the past seven years,” she said.
“It took a long time to get the planning permission and my kids by then were firmly settled in England.
“My ex-husband has been running a restaurant that I started 13 years ago but he said he wanted to retire and asked if I wanted it back.
“I said okay and that’s when I realised I had to move back to the UK and put the chateau on the market.
“When I came across this competition idea I thought this would enable us to raise funds for the continuation of the Eco Village Development plans in England.”
During World War II, the chateau was used as a refuge for Jewish families, who hid in a secret compartment in the attic.
A total of 500,000 tickets will be up for grabs for £10 each, and anyone entering must first answer two skill-based questions.
Go to www.winafrenchchateau.co.uk to enter the competition.