Top 10: James Bond homes for sale
How many homes with James Bond connections do you think are for sale at the moment? The amazing answer is that - as the latest Bond movie Skyfall prepares for its release later this summer - there are ten available for sale connected to 007 or his creator, Ian Fleming on PrimeLocation.com
1. Wellington Square, Chelsea: £6.35m
In Ian Fleming's books (as well as his short story collections) several feature James Bond's home in London as being on a 'little plane tree'd square off the Kings Road' in Chelsea, London.
In the book, staffed by an elderly Scottish housekeeper, in real life the property has been identified as 30 Wellington Square by Fleming's assistant at The Sunday Times, John Pearson. He reckons it is the most likely address and in particular it's mentioned as being such in Pearson's 1966 and 1973 biographies of Fleming.
This is partly because a friend of Pearson (and therefore probably Fleming's) from college days lived there for a time, and partly from other geographical and architectural clues from the books including the steps up to the property.
But the flat, which only makes an appearance in two of the films – is probably a mix of different homes created within Fleming's imagination.
No.30 Wellington Square is currently for sale at £6.35 million and is one of many five-storey Regency terrace homes on the square, which was built in the early 1830s, standing on its western (and apparently most popular) side.
Its five storeys have been lavishly refurbished to a standard that Fleming and Pearson would be astounded by, and comes with a west facing garden. More information from Charles McDowell Property Consultants.
2. The Manor House, Stoke Poges, Bucks - £13.5m
There's been a manor house in Stoke Poges from before the Norman conquest and it's mentioned in the Domesday Book. Its various incarnations have been visited by a roll call of British history including Charles I (on the way to his execution), Queen Elizabeth and painter Edward Landseer, who at one point rented an apartment within the estate.
Also, it was owned by Thomas Penn, whose father helped establish both the US state of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia.
But it was Thomas's son, John Penn, who built a new house within his family's estate between 1790 and 1813, spending much of the £130,000 compensation he received from the US government for the loss of his American lands in Pennsylvania.
It was this building which, in 1908, was purchased from the main estate and turned into a country club and, since, has become a regular location for film shoots including most famously the 1964 Bond movie Goldfinger.
During the film Bond challenges Goldfinger to a golf game, beating him on the 18th green after revealing his opponent's cheating. A peeved Goldfinger then motions to his assistant, Nick Nack, who severs the head of a nearby statue at the building's entrance with his steel rimmed bowler. A further Bond film, 1997's Tomorrow Never Dies, also includes scenes from Stoke Park – as does Bridget Jones's Diary and Layer Cake – starring today's Bond Daniel Craig.
The Manor House therefore offers a unique ringside seat and connection to Stoke Park, and is on the market for £13.5 million.
Recently refurbished to an extraordinarily high standard, the estate includes the seven-bedroom Mansion House; three bedroom West Lodge, two-bedroom East Lodge; pool house; stable block; one-bedroom cottage; and garaging plus ten acres of grounds within a Capability Brown landscaped park.
More information from Savills.
3. Villa within Golden Eye resort, Jamaica
Golden Eye was the name Ian Fleming gave his Jamaican retreat, a moniker which in turn he borrowed – it is thought - from a wartime mission of the same name he was involved in during the Second War while serving with British Naval Intelligence.
It was during the war that Fleming first visited Jamaica (in 1942) and resolved to live there.
In 1945 he bought land in St Mary Parish in north east Jamaica on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the sea and set about building a house, which he often retreated to and is where most of the Bond books were written, banging out words on his famously simple typewriter with a cigarette holder clamped to his lips.
Famous visitors to the house included Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden, but after Flemings death in 1964 following a heart attack, the house remained largely unused until 1976 when it was sold to singer Bob Marley, who in turn sold it on to the owner of his record label, Island's colourful owner Chris Blackwell.
In 2007 it was announced that 82 properties including villas, cottages and 'suites' were to be built within the 100-acre estate and properties are currently for sale.
4. Woodville Hall, Dover, Kent - £1.75m
Not many know that one of the UK's most famous musicals, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, is based on a book written by Bond author Ian Fleming.
Even fewer realise that the 'Chitty' in the title refers to a real race car owned by motorsport enthusiast Bill Hollis during the late 1920s and who lived at Woodville Hall.
Fleming and Hollis were friends and it seems very likely that the car's name inspired the children's story that Fleming subsequently wrote (for his son, Caspar) and was later made into the famous musical film starring Dick Van Dyke and Benny Hill.
Woodville Hall has recently been restored by its current owners Glenn and Pamela Mousley, who only realised the nine-bedroom home's connection to Fleming while work was under way.
The property, which was constructed in 1845 but was built in a (then) modern Regency style, has been on the market since December 2011 for £1.85 million, is now on the market for £1.75 million and comes with a ten acre garden.
And Woodville Hall has more history to reveal – the property was for many years owned by the Colman family – of mustard fame – and composer Edward Elgar is said to have written one of his most famous pieces, the Enigma Variations, while staying at the house.
For more information contact Strutt & Parker.
5. Metro Central Heights, Elephant and Castle, London - £399k
One of the most notorious Bond baddies, Goldfinger, was modelled on a real man – architect and designer Erno Goldfinger whose main connection to Ian Fleming was that the two had a run-in over a planning dispute during the late 1930s over a three-property development Goldfinger was building in Willow Road in Hampstead, north London – and which is now owned by the National Trust.
After crossing swords with the famously austere Goldfinger, Fleming is then said to have borrowed his surname for his baddie in his eponymous and seventh novel, published in 1959. The matter 'went legal' after Goldfinger protested, and publisher Jonathan Cape settled out of court.
But if Goldfinger had cause to be upset, it was the criticism he received for his huge office scheme in London's Elephant & Castle area, built between 1959 and 1963 and originally called Alexander Fleming House, after the man who discovered penicillin.
Architects now laud it for being bold and modernist, but others both then and now say it's one of the "worst examples of soulless post-war developments".
It was subsequently converted into flats, which are now treasured for both their relative low cost and the extraordinary design quirks to be found within its architecture.
Given the huge number of properties within the development, several area always for sale including – at the moment – a three bedroom apartment on the ninth floor of its South Block.
For more information, contact agent My London Home.
6. Lyford Cay, Bahamas - £4.3m
Lyford Cay can easily lay claim to be one of the most exclusive but little-known addresses of the rich and famous – a position its residents like to try and maintain.
It's a gated community on the western tip of New Provident island in the 3,000 strong island state of the Bahamas, of which New Providence is one of the larger and home to its capital, Nassau.
Lyford Cay's list of wealthy and famous residents includes several Greek shipping magnates and an Irish newspaper mogul – but its most famous is Edinburgh-raised actor and former milkman Sean Connery, star of seven Bond films – Dr No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967) Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again(1983).
It is no surprise that Connery chose to spend his days on Lyford Cay. Two of the Bond movies he starred in feature Bahamian backdrops – Thunderball and Never Say Never Again – and the island's main Hilton hotel has a 'Double O' suite stocked with Martini and 007 memorabilia.
For a place so small, plenty of properties are available to buy at the moment if you want to be Sean's neighbour. An apartment is currently for sale within Lyford Cay within its only 'condo' block. The six bedroom , top floor property offers 9.300 sq ft of luxury living and is on the market for £4.3 million. Plus there's a three bedroom house for sale at £2.25m, a nine bedroom house for £5m and, in Sean's league, a six bedroom beachfront villa going for £9.58m.
More information from agent Knight Frank.
7. Carlyle Mansion, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London - £3.59m
This Victorian apartment building is often claimed to be Britain's most literary property and is often referred to as the 'writers' block' largely because several giants of literature including TS Eliot, Henry James, Somerset Maughan and Ian Fleming have lived in its luxurious and usually large flats.
Fleming lived there in August 1950 after moving into No.24 Carlyle Mansions and it is there, while also working for the Sunday Times, that he began writing his first Bond book, Casino Royale – commencing work on it during 1952.
The block, which was named after notable Victorian Chelsea resident, satirist, essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle, is made of striking Portland stone and brick, and features ornate relief carvings that are said to be scenes from Aesop's fables.
A four bedroom apartment is currently for sale in the mansion block that would bewilder Fleming, who was somewhat of a traditionalist.
The apartment, which is on the market for £3.59 million, has been refurbished comprehensively to a very modern style is almost exclusively white throughout.
More information from Strutt & Parker.
8. Modern house, Exmouth, Devon - £700k
Many of the Bond films have featured properties that were already extraordinary, but are now cemented into the 007 tradition.
There's Chateau D'Anet in France (Thunderball) and Elrod House in Palm Springs, Florida (Diamonds are Forever) but a more modest and comparably striking home for sale at the moment is Moonraker, named both after the eponymous James Bond film but also because of the 'moon' shaped roof the property features.
One thing Bond would like here, though, is the huge range of gadgets the house bristles with including fingerprint enabled door locks and a safe room that doubles as an office.
The house is a four bedroom detched property designed by local architect Paul Humphries – which specialises in striking, modern eco homes such as Moonraker – for Bond fanatics Paul Butterworth and Dana Schell, who after three years in the house are on the move again.
Moonraker is on the market for £700,000. For more information contact Bainbridge's.
9. Albany resort, New Providence island, Bahamas - from $1.5m
Daniel Craig's first outing as Bond in Casino Royale (in 2006) was best known not so much for its pyrotechnics and stunts but rather Craig's deliberately erotic and muscle-bound emergence from an azure sea in a powder blue pair of shorts.
It made such undergarments fashionable for a while and a survey at the time found that Craig was – for a while – deemed sexier by women than David Beckham after his on-film beach performance.
The shooting for this scene took place in the shallow water of the main beach belonging to the £600 million Albany resort, a new development of hotels mixed in with luxury properties.
But not only did Craig/Bond appear on its beach in Casino Royale but he was also 'debriefed' (in the project management sense) by M in the resort's main and very colonial Albany House, the residents' club and restaurant at the centre of the resort.
Agent Aylesford is selling golf course lots from $1.5 million, with marina apartments and villas going for $2.8 to $40 million; four-storey 'cottages' cost from $4 million.
More information from Aylesford.
10. Trellick Tower, West London - £400k
It is surely shome mishtake, Mish Moneypenny? What does a tall, grey, brutalist block of flats overlooking the sprawl of west London have in common with the world's most glamorous fictional spy.
But the link is there. Trellick Tower, which is in North Kensington, was completed in 1972 to designs by Budapest-born architect and non-nonsense member of the awkward squad, Erno Goldfinger.
Goldfinger earned the unending wrath of Ian Fleming when, during a planning dispute in Hampstead on which the two men sat on opposite side, got nasty.
Fleming, who had conservative tastes, couldn't see why perfectly serviceable homes should be bulldozed to make way for three modernist homes designed by Goldfinger. Fleming lost and the properties are now in the hands of the National Trust and open to the public.
To take revenge, it is widely believed, Fleming named the criminally insane protagonist in his 1959 book Goldfinger after the architect, who didn't take kindly – at first – to his name being abused.
Trellick Tower, at first reviled, is now much cherished as an architectural gem and has been given Grade II listed status.
The building, which was for a long time home to the late Joe Strummer, lead singer of punk rock band The Clash, almost always contains properties for sale, but unusually at the moment there's a three bedroom apartment on the top (30th) floor for sale at £400,000 with agent Westways.
More information from Westways.
- By Nigel Lewis