HIS father was Florence Nightingale's private secretary, his nephew designed the Welsh fantasy village of Portmeirion.

But the thing that will attract most buyers to the former home of former New Forest poet, Arthur Clough, is its sheer size - and its £7.5 million price tag.

Castletop House in Burley boasts 15 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms over three properties which include the main house, which has its own lift, and two guest cottages.

Its lucky new owner will enjoy 25 acres of gardens and grounds, as well as their own swimming pool, loggia, kitchen garden, sunken garden woodland and paddock.

Indoors they'll get a games room, library, original fireplaces with Delft tiles and large sash windows.

The fine late Victorian country house, which is in council tax band H, dates back to the late 19th Century and was built for Arthur Clough and his wife, Eleanor. Arthur Clough won several notable prizes for building rural homes around the country and built many developments in Burley where several streets and lanes are named after him.

On the outskirts of Burley, which boasts walking, shooting, fishing and riding, as well as its own golf course, village pubs and gourmet restaurants, the property is in the heart of the New Forest yet with amenities close by. The home is five miles from the market town of Ringwood and around 20 miles from the waterfront cities of Southampton and Bournemouth.

A spokesman for agents Sotheby's International Realty said: "Arthur Clough was the son of Florence Nightingale's private secretary. He was also a late Victorian poet of some repute, writing around the same period as Alfred Tennyson. His wife Eleanor’s father was President of the Royal Geographic Society and went on many plant hunting trips to the Himalayas and other exotic places. The gardens feature an impressive red Rhododendron which is actually named after the house."

Castletop House is on the market with Sotheby's. Call 01932 860 537