Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Tuesday, 15 April 2008 14:59 UK

Hardy hotel beats 3m guide price

The King's Arms in Dorchester
The King's Arms buyer Simon Monsi also owns another historic hotel

A Dorset hotel immortalised in a Thomas Hardy novel has gone under the hammer for more than 3m.

The King's Arms Hotel in Dorchester, which has played host to Queen Victoria and George VI since it was built in 1720, was put on the market last year.

Estate agents Christie and Co. confirmed it sold for more than the 3m guide price on Tuesday but would not disclose the final figure.

The hotel is best known for featuring in Hardy's Far From The Madding Crowd.

It is also the main location in The Mayor of Casterbridge novel.

Michael Henchard, the book's eponymous mayor, carries out his official business there.

Agent Christie and Co. of Winchester, Hampshire, sold the property to Simon Monsi, who also owns the historic Anvil Inn Hotel at Pimperne, near Blandford.

The King's Arms had a 1m refurbishment in 2005 but still retains many of its original and classical Georgian features.

It has 37 ensuite bedrooms, including two four-poster suites, two restaurants, conference facilities and a bar.

Hardy hotel goes on sale for 3m
20 Dec 07 |  Dorset

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