International Women’s Day: Houses where famous women once lived
International Women’s Day seems an appropriate time to look at the homes which have a connection to famous women. From Barbara Cartland’s Mayfair home to Anne of Cleves’ divorce settlement from Henry VIII, these homes are currently on the market – for as little as £265,000 – and have seen their share of Girl Power over the years.
28 South Street, Mayfair, London, £35m
28 South Street has an illustrious history and was the home to the prolific writer Dame Barbara Cartland. During World War II she worked for the War Office in Whitehall and the St John Ambulance Brigade. After the war, she used the house to entertain the likes of Queen Elizabeth II and the notorious Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll. She also wrote her 1949 romance novel A Hazard of Hearts and her racy Guide to Married Life (1950), while living at the house. South Street was the childhood home of Cartland’s daughter, Raine Spencer, who went on the marry Princess Diana’s father and become her stepmother. Today, the incredible property boasts five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a wellness suite with a swimming pool, bar, sauna and relaxation zone. For more information contact Wetherell.
The Coach House, Wiltshire Road, Brixton, London, £1.4m
You might be surprised to come across this unusual Victorian coach house in the heart of Brixton. The three-bedroom property dates back to 1890 and was gifted to London socialite and actress Lillie Langtry by the-then Prince of Wales who later became Edward VII. Lily is renowned for being the first woman to smoke in public, the first lady to break the bank in Monte Carlo and for being the Prince of Wales’ consort. After a fall from grace, she was encouraged by her friend Oscar Wilde to pursue a career on the stage and appeared in several productions as well as becoming the poster-girl for Pears Soap, the first celebrity endorsement of a commercial product. Nowadays, her former London home has a vast open kitchen, a cobbled courtyard, two light and spacious bedrooms, a well-manicured lawn and off-street parking. For more information contact Knight Frank.
Read more: What sort of house £1m buys you around the UK
Church cottage, Turville, Buckinghamshire, £495,000
The gorgeous two-bedroom Church Cottage was home to one of TV’s most popular female characters, Geraldine Granger, aka The Vicar of Dibley. You’ll also live next door to St Mary the Virgin Church, which doubles as Dibley's St Barnabas. The village of Turville is no stranger to being a TV and film location, having featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Goodnight Mr Tom, Midsomer Murders and, more recently, Killing Eve. The cottage itself is in need of modernisation but there’s a dual aspect sitting room and open fireplace to enjoy, plus, you can make it your own and buy a piece of TV history at the same time. For more information contact Savills.
Broughton Hall, Broughton Poggs, Lechlade, Cotswolds, £3.9m
Anne of Cleves was given Broughton Hall as part of her divorce settlement from King Henry VIII. The Queen’s Walk, which runs down to an elegant stone pavilion along the boundary of the garden, is named after her. This nine-bedroom property makes up the major portion of the hall and certainly is fit for a queen: it has five acres, a wine cellar and tennis courts, plus a long, wooded drive so you can be sure to make a royal entrance. For more information contact Mount Grange Heritage.
St. Margaret's Terrace, Cheltenham, £265,000
The Hon. Katherine Monson was responsible for many of the properties built in Cheltenham in the early 19th century and is renowned as one of the city’s most famous property developers. Despite building a number of beautiful Regency buildings that remain today, including this one on St Margaret’s Terrace, Katherine found herself bankrupt and fled to Belgium to avoid being charged. The two-bedroom flat in this terrace has large sash windows, high ceilings and beautiful views of Cleeve Hill, all of which are mostly unchanged since 19th century. There are modern additions too and the current owners have added a bespoke hand-crafted kitchen, underfloor sound proofing and built-in storage to accommodate contemporary needs. For more information contact Morgan Associates.
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Grendon Underwood, Buckinghamshire, £360,000
This quaint timber-framed cottage was built back in the 17th century – but it’s famous female owners only took possession in the 20th century. Sofie Magdalene Dahl, Roald Dahl’s mother, lived in the cottage in the 1940s and it was referenced in the author’s autobiography Going Solo as ‘Mama’s Cottage’. Another famous resident was actress Elizabeth Spriggs who starred in Harry Potter and Sense & Sensibility. She even used the cottage as the backdrop to a scene when she appeared in Midsomer Murders. It’s not massive – there are only two bedrooms – but there are period windows and fireplaces, including two large inglenook fireplaces. For more information talk to Robinson & Hall Auctions.
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