First of all, the estate is located in the exclusive area of Constantia, and the main mansion is not only surrounded by a nine-foot-tall perimeter wall with electric fencing, but stands in two acres of grounds, with jaw-dropping sea and mountain views.
As well as being blessed with the best that Nature has to offer, the estate has plenty of man-made attractions, too: three guest cottages (with five bedroom suites), two staff cottages, tennis court, gym, sauna, fishpond, swimming pool, 10-seater cinema room and private vineyard (300 bottles per year).
The swimming pool on the listing.
Artworks and sculptures in the listing are also for sale, adding some £600,000 to the asking price. On top of which, the whole listing is dusted with equal layers of magic and tragedy.
For this is where the Princess came to visit her brother Earl Spencer, in 1997, just a few months before her death in August. Since when the suite in which she stayed has been preserved exactly as it was. As has the Grecian-style swimming pool, where she sunbathed.
It was at the gates of the estate that Earl Spencer came to talk to the press, and delivered a bitter condemnation of the role that newspapers had played in Diana’s death.
The Earl of Spencer walking to the listing gates to deliver his speech to the press upon Diana’s death.
“I always believed the press would kill her in the end,” he told the mass of reporters who had gathered outside Tarrystone. “But not even I could believe they would take such a direct hand in her death as sems to be the case.
“It would appear that every proprietor and every editor of every publication that has paid for intrusive and exploitative photographs of her, encouraging greedy and ruthless individuals to risk everything in pursuit of Diana’s image, has blood on his hands today.”
He later sold the house in 2000, and returned to live at Althorp, in Northamptonshire. Since then, the Tarrystone Estate has changed hands twice, but has lost none of its glamour. Both real and perceived.
A picture taken of the back of the listing in 1998.
The first thing to strike the visitor is the size and grandeur of the glass-fronted main house, which is covered with an immaculately-trimmed thatched roof. As well as four bedrooms, it has, at its heart, a soaring, three-storey-high main lounge, known as The Great Room.
Not only that, but the décor is breathtaking: Venetian chandeliers and floors made of solid oak and marble. No wonder the estate agent’s particulars describe Tarrystone as “undoubtedly the most desirable listing in the Southern Suburbs, ideal for entertaining on a grand scale.”
Things haven’t stood still, though, in the decade and a half since Earl Spencer left.The door frames have been raised, and even though the house is thatched, some of the rooms have had ceilings and skylights installed
The garden, too, has had a lot of work done on it, in the form of landscaping and maintenance, plus the planting of some 500 iceberg rose bushes.
But of course, the flower that the world remembers best was Diana Spencer, the princess to whom Elton John sang, at her funeral, the words “Goodbye, England’s rose”.
The rose bushes glimpsed behind the swimming pool.
The Tarrystone Estate is on the market for £3.95m (70 million rand) with Fine & Country; listing number 128672 Cape Town, www.fineandcountry.co.za