Cobstone Mill became famous across the world as the home of Ian Fleming's second-most famous creation, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Today, this delightful old mill is seeking a new owner.
As well as being the setting of one of the nation’s favourite comedy series, The Vicar of Dibley, Turville in Buckinghamshire has another claim to fame: it is overlooked by ‘the most famous windmill in the world’, otherwise known as Cobstone Mill, immortalised in the Dick Van Dyke classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
The mill is 207 years old, but it’s 150 years since it was last used for its original intended purpose. Indeed, it needed refurbishment by the film’s producers when they came here in 1967, making tweaks and repairs that apparently included new sails.
A few years after the film was made the actress Hayley Mills and her husband Roy Boulting bought, refurbished and converted the mill and surrounding buildings. The present owners have had it since the 1980s, and — as can be seen from the wonderful state it’s in today — have carried on caring for it.
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As well as the iconic windmill, the sale also includes a brick-and-flint main house, as well as outbuildings, a double-garage with small apartment above, lovely gardens, paddock and a swimming pool within some 36¾ acres.
The windmill itself, while undeniably romantic, isn’t really set up to be lived in full time. The ground floor is a reception room, while each of the two storeys above have been set up as bedrooms — one of which is en-suite.
That makes the main house the principal residence on offer here, and any mild disappointment that probably not going to be living in a windmill will probably be quickly assuaged by the delightful way the place has been refurbished.
The main living space, with its vaulted ceiling, is a spectacular open-plan sitting and dining room with huge bi-fold doors that open on to the swimming pool area. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect house in which to throw parties in summer.
While the windmill is probably the huge draw which will catch buyers’ attention, the setting and views are probably what will make day to day life truly wonderful: this is a truly wonderful spot.
‘Cobstone Mill has to be seen to be believed and this is even before you bring into consideration the home’s extensive film history,’ says Hugh Maconochie of Savills’s country department.
‘From the beautiful architecture of the windmill itself to the spectacular views down the Hambleden Valley,’ he adds.
‘Some homes claim to be iconic, but nothing comes close to Cobstone Mill.’
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