PROSPECTIVE buyers will have to kiss goodbye to £1.5million to buy the historic home of Admiral Lord Nelson’s captain Thomas Hardy.

Portesham House was home to Vice-Admiral Hardy up until 1807, two years after he had sat at Nelson’s deathbed during the Battle of Trafalgar.

As the naval hero lay dying after being fatally shot, he is said to have famously uttered the words: ‘Kiss me, Hardy,’ to his long-time friend.

The Grade II-listed, 500-year-old house at Portesham is now up for sale at an asking price of £1.5million.

Peter Lane, from estate agents Savills which is now selling the property, said: “This property is a quintessential Georgian village house and a little slice of British history.

“It is one of the most historically important houses in Dorset.

“It is thought to be of Tudor origin and was remodelled in the Georgian period.

“It features many original features including a fine reception hall and staircase, several fireplaces.”

He added: “The house has also undergone comprehensive and sympathetic improvements which include the addition of a utility room, a store room and a magnificent kitchen and breakfast room providing access to, and extensive views of, the gardens.

“It is a very special house indeed.”

The plush house is set in 1.2 acres of land in Portesham, where Hardy’s family owned an estate. It boasts seven bedrooms, four reception rooms, two bathrooms and a grand Roman pillared front door. It also features a stunning walled garden with mill stream, an ornamental canal, and a separate coach house and stables.

The village is overlooked by the 65ft monument of Hardy.

*HARDY was born in the Dorset village of Kingston Russell in 1769 and joined the Royal Navy as a captain’s servant in 1781.

He quickly worked his way through the ranks and in 1798 was promoted to captain Nelson’s flagship HMS Vanguard.

In 1803 Hardy was reunited with Nelson on HMS Victory and two years later the pair led the British forces into battle against the joint French and Spanish fleet at Trafalgar. Nelson was killed by a bullet from a musket but Hardy survived, returning to Britain with his friend’s body.

Although Hardy moved out of Portesham House in 1807 following his marriage to Lady Louisa Berkeley, the house remained in his family until the 1930s when the Portesham estate was broken up.

Hardy went on to become First Naval Lord in 1830.

He died in Greenwich, London, in 1839.