IT HAS been dubbed Hampshire’s finest folly.

With a stately home-style interior and a rooftop terrace that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside, it is also everyone’s idea of a des res.

Now the 218ft Sway Tower – one of the county’s best-known landmarks – is on the market for more than £2 million.

It was the first building in Britain to be made of non-reinforced concrete and is also the tallest structure in the world to hold that distinction.

Each of the first four floors boasts a bedroom with an en suite bathroom, while facilities on the ground floor include two reception rooms and an indoor pool.

The Grade II listed building has a total of 14 storeys, all of which are reached via an enclosed spiral staircase attached to the outside of the tower.

Those fit enough to tackle the 330 steps and make it to the top are rewarded with breathtaking views of the New Forest, the Solent and the Isle of Wight.

Wealthy landowner Andrew Peterson built the original structure in the early 1880s after returning from India and drawing up plans to create a centrepiece for his Hampshire estate.

The retired judge was determined to prove concrete’s versatility as a building material and was also anxious to provide work for unemployed locals.

According to local legend he consulted a medium and made contact with legendary architect Sir Christopher Wren, who encouraged him to build the folly.

Originally from Yorkshire, Peterson had married Charlotte Myers St Clair.

He wanted the tower to be their final resting place but his wife insisted on being buried in the local churchyard.

Peterson died in London in 1906. His ashes were interred in the folly before being exhumed in 1957 and reburied in his wife’s grave.

The tower was badly damaged in the Great Storm of 1987 but was repaired with grants from English Heritage and local councils.

Further restoration work was carried out in the early 1990s by the owner, Paul Atlas, who bought the tower in 1972. Now Mr Atlas is selling up after 44 years.

Hayley Kemish, of Lymington-based estate agents John D Wood & Co, said: “The tower has been described as Hampshire’s finest folly.

“This is a unique opportunity to acquire an iconic New Forest landmark that affords unsurpassed panoramic views.” Contact the firm on 01590 677233.