An online auction which offered bidders the chance to spend Christmas Day at Warwick Castle has sold for £27,000.

The winning bidder, whose identity is not yet known, will be the first to enjoy the festivities at the 1,000-year-old castle since the Earl of Warwick sold it in 1978.

The eBay auction attracted eight offers, from five bidders, while more than 20,000 people looked visited the sale, which began last week with a reserve figure of £25,000.

The price includes a team of servants who, it is said, will cater to every whim, access to all parts of the castle, including the dungeons, a visit from Father Christmas and a firework display. The winning bidder can invite up to nine additional guests to enjoy the prize.

Would-be buyers were told they could: “Enjoy the ultimate Christmas with sole access to Britain’s ultimate castle on the one day it is closed to the general public - Christmas Day.

“Make your mark in history by being the first people to celebrate Christmas at the castle since the Earl of Warwick sold the property in 1978 and enjoy Christmas with up to ten guests - creating a memory that you will remember forever.”

The day will begin with a Champagne breakfast in the library before opening presents around the 25ft tree in the great hall.

Guests can take a walk around the 65-acre grounds before sitting down to a seven-course feast in the state dining room.

After dinner, there’s the choice of retiring to the drawing room or smoking room to rest before board games in the music room, which was a favourite haunt of William Churchill and his family.

All of the proceeds will be donated to the charity Merlin’s Magic Wand which pays for experiences for children who are seriously ill, disabled or disadvantaged.