Country houses for sale

The charming 18th century house for sale where John le Carré moved after quitting spying to become a novelist

Escape to the country via Coxley House — a lovely property situated on the edge of the Mendip Hills Area of Natural Beauty in Somerset.

Fans of John Le Carré’s spy novels will be thrilled to hear that his former house in Somerset is on the market. Strutt & Parker’s Bath office quotes a guide price of £1.95m for this Georgian gem, Grade II-listed Coxley House in the village of Upper Coxley, which backs onto open countryside on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills AONB, two miles from the cathedral city of Wells.

For years, Coxley House, previously known as Coxley Manor, was the home of the spy-thriller writer le Carré (real name David Cornwell) who bought the house in 1965, following his resignation from the Foreign Office, where he worked in undercover intelligence.

It was also the year that saw the publication of his novel The Looking Glass War. He is said to have written his novels in the garden studio in the grounds of Coxley House.

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The charming 18th-century house, set in four acres of formal gardens with a gently sloping paddock beyond, has been painstakingly refurbished by the current owners and offers 4,500sq ft of accommodation on three floors, including two main reception rooms, a snug, office, reading room, kitchen and conservatory on the ground floor; a master suite and two bedrooms on the first floor; and three further bedrooms on the floor above.

It comes with live planning consent for a new outbuilding with two car ports, a garden store and a home office.

Coxley House is currently for sale via Strutt & Parker at a guide price of £1.95 million — see more pictures, or enquire with the agent for more details. 

Upper Coxley: What you need to know

Location: Upper Coxley is situated between Glastobury and Shepton Mallet, just two miles from the cathedral city of Wells. Castle Cary is the nearest train station (approximately 30 minutes drive) which offers a main line service to London Paddington (just make sure to steer clear during festival times!)

Atmosphere: A pretty village that backs onto the Mendip Hills Area of Natural Beauty, Upper Coxley is well situated for schools, amenities and transport links.

Things to do: From Wells cathedral to Glastonbury festival — this area of Somerset offers it all. Nearby Wells has supermarkets, restaurants, doctors and pubs, whereas Glastonbury offers more holistic options. Clarks Village in Street also offers fantastic shopping, with over 90 outlet stores.

Schools: There are a number of good local primary schools including Coxley Primary School and St Cuthbert’s Church of England Academy Infants and Pre School, with Wells Cathedral School, Millfield and the Blue School for secondary options.

See more property for sale in the area.


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