A BUNGALOW on Portland up for sale with a £450,000 price tag includes historic Rufus Castle in its back garden.

The island's oldest castle, built by the son of William the Conqueror, is included in the sale of a bungalow, which has just come on to the market and is bound to stir up a lot of interest among buyers, according to the estate agents handling the sale.

With a unique position on the island's east side overlooking Church Ope Cove and enjoying excellent sea views, Castle Keep, which covers more than two acres, provides a rare opportunity, they say.

As well as the Norman castle, now a dilapidated ruin protected by English Heritage, the deal includes a three-bedroom detached bungalow, a swimming pool and fine gardens with winding paths leading through ash and sycamore trees to the ruins of St Andrew's Church and the cove.

Owner Keith Allsop, 67, a retired Portland chemist, who bought the property in 1983 said he will be sad to leave.

He and wife Janet are moving to Liverpool to be nearer their grandchildren.

Mr Allsop said: "There are outstanding sea views so this would suit anyone who wants to be near the coast.

"The castle is, I'm afraid, just a shell, and apart from sheltering us from the easterly winds it hasn't a lot of use but I understand it is Portland's oldest castle so it's fascinating from that point of view. I originally planned to restore it but it is protected as an ancient monument so there's not a lot you can do to it."

He added: "It's a lovely place to live, there's no doubt about it. We originally came here because I wanted to establish a vineyard but my vines have not done too well."

Andrew Harvey, director of the Portland office of Hull Gregson and Hull which is handling the sale, said there had already been several local inquiries regarding Castle Keep, which has a price guide of £450,000.

He said: "The property's unique position and the fact that it includes a castle within its grounds makes this a very unusual sale. The bungalow is well sheltered and there is a gorgeous view across the sea. You really have to be there to appreciate it."

Approached via a stone arch off Church Ope Road, the bungalow was built in 1965 for the former owners of nearby Pennsylvania Castle.

Rufus Castle, or Bow and Arrow Castle as it is known because of the small slits in the walls used for firing arrows, was built towards the end of the 11th century as a fortification by William II, known as Rufus, who had succeeded to the throne on the death of his father, William the Conqueror in 1087.

Tradition says that not only was the castle built as a fortification but as a place of refuge for islanders.

Portland historian Stuart Morris describes Rufus Castle as 'one of the most undervalued ancient monuments in Dorset' in his book, Portland, An Illustrated History.