Spike Milligans House Back Up For Sale

The home of the late great Spike Milligan is back on the market

Milligan lived in Carpenters Meadow, a house designed in the 60s by architect C P McLaughlin, in the final years of his life (from 1988 and 2002) with his third wife Shelagh Sinclair.

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After his death she sold the place, bought a smaller home and then, to the dismay of Milligan’s six children, flogged much of the memorabilia he had collected during his long career as a writer, actor, musician, and comedian.

The kids hit back by contesting Milligan’s will in favour of an earlier version that left them a share of Carpenters Meadow, but they were unsuccessful.

Terence Alan Patrick Seán Milligan died from liver disease at the age of 83, on 27 February 2002. He quipped before his death that he was glad his old friend Harry Secombe had died first because “I didn’t want him to sing at my funeral.”

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He was buried at Winchelsea, East Sussex. His coffin was draped with an Irish flag and his headstone famously reads, in Gaelic because he wasn’t allowed put it in English: “Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite” ( “I told you I was ill.”)

He described Carpenters Meadow, as “the ugliest house in the world,” “bloody awful” and had an alternative nameplate made for it called “The Blind Architect”.

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In 1991 he appeared on Room 101 and told host Paul Merton: “When I saw a photograph, I said to the estate agent, ‘It looks as if it’s made from white stone.’ He said, ‘Yes, it is.’ “But it isn’t. It’s built from concrete blocks. It’s all blank, blank, blank. That’s why I hate it: because I own it.”

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Asked by Merton if there was something he could do to improve his home, Milligan added thoughtfully: “You could set fire to it.”

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This is not Savills’ view of the place: “a substantial property of excellent proportions which occupies an enviable elevated position.” Offers in Excess of  £1,475,000 … those planning improvements are advised to being your own matches.

Self Building A House – Method or Madness?

Do you need to be mad to construct a house from new?

Newhousemain1 Self Building A House   Method or Madness?

It is said that there is nothing more rewarding than building a new house – if you survive it. The challenge requires a combination of creativity, clever management and stamina, and may be the biggest risk you could ever take. The economy may be gloomy, but intrepid house-hunters are still searching for plots, sketching their ideas, and striving to build the best new homes they can.

“When you embark on something like this, you don’t know if you will succeed, or where your life will be when you have finished,” says Deborah Hebel. “You have a dream and a set of hopes. It is quite an endeavour.” She and her husband, John, and sons, Michael, 11, and Sebastian, seven, have created an extraordinary place called Bedlam, near Canterbury in Kent. “The wood beside it is called Bedlam,” Deborah explains. “But life was also rather crazy while we were building it.”

The house, which stands in nine acres, is partially sunken, with a copper roof curved in two ripples. Inside, there is decorative ironwork – branches and tree trunks – handmade by a blacksmith. As well as five bedrooms, there is a cinema room, and an indoor swimming pool that can be seen through the glazed wall of the living room. “In 2008, we came to what we called a shack, because it was a bungalow, with plants in the walls and no foundations,” she says. “But it was a wonderful spot, with owls at night and no light pollution.”

Newhouselivingarea Self Building A House   Method or Madness?

How difficult was it to get planning permission? “It took a year. I went to the National Archives, researched the area, and presented a coherent case. We got permission to build on a different part of the plot, to a bigger footprint, so we could live in the bungalow while we did it,” says Deborah. Did the eco-credentials help? “That was for us personally. We over-insulated and put in a ground-source heat pump. It costs less than the bungalow to run, even though it is four times the size.”

The house is an expression of their family life. “Marble flooring is good because the boys can rollerblade along it,” she says, calmly. “I went to extremes to source materials. For the marble I went deep into Turkey and had dinner with the man who ran the company. I took Sebastian, who was then five, to China to find carpets and curtains. He had a day as a panda keeper and went cormorant fishing, so he enjoyed it.” The result is that they and their architect, Shane Jell, have been shortlisted for a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award this year.

Kitchen Self Building A House   Method or Madness?

If they win, it would be some recognition for the agony that accompanies the ecstasy of home building. For this is a second attempt for Deborah, a former City trader.

“The idea first popped into my head in 2002, but we failed first time,” she says. “It took three-and-a-half years to get planning permission then, and my ambition overtook reality. The bill soared and we suddenly had two children. We sold it and started again.”

Life has changed once more and they need to be nearer relatives. Their home is up for sale for £3.25 million with Strutt & Parker (01227 451123) – and you don’t have to be mad to live here.

Getting planning permission is often the biggest struggle, particularly if you want to build in virgin countryside. In 1997, the then Environment Secretary, John Gummer, keen to encourage country house building, which he saw as “one of the great glories of England”, introduced a clause making it possible to build houses that were truly innovative or exceptional. But only 20 to 25 were built, and this planning loophole is being closed.

One of the last projects to get permission in this way was a house bristling with glass turrets and wrapped in wood, designed by retired architect Tony Goddard in the grounds of the Manor House at Newton Harcourt, in Leicestershire. Tony, a founding partner at Goddard Manton, is best known for his work in London Docklands and for notable buildings around Leicester.

“We live in the Manor, which has 10 bedrooms and is too big for us now,” he says. “The idea is to build a smaller house in the grounds, then move into it and sell this.” The planners warned him it would be difficult to get permission. He quickly found himself spending £25,000 on ecology, tree and flood surveys, plus a landscape assessment. “It was a risk; they could have said no.” Luckily, they said yes.

How do the sums work? The site with planning permission may be valued at £350,000-£450,000. Building the shell may cost £500,000, and the end value could be £1.5 million. The formidable eco-credentials include an earth energy bank for long-term energy storage. “I have known the woods here for my entire life, made dens there when I was a boy,” says Tony. “I wanted the house to touch on them as lightly as possible, but also to look into them.” It rises with terraces or balconies to every room. “We will be up with the squirrels.”

Buying agents such as Charlie Wells, at Prime Purchase, have noticed that canny buyers are snapping up unlisted houses in gorgeous settings with an eye to massively extending or knocking them down to rebuild. “With one in three properties, I find myself taking an architect or a planning consultant with me,” he says. “Building work costs the same in a secondary or primary location so it makes it worth doing.”

BUY FINISHED

Beau View, Canterbury, Kent: with four bedrooms, gym, stable and paddock, at £1.35m through Chesterton Humberts (020 7594 4746).

Hill House near Alresford, Hampshire: with five bedrooms and bathrooms, cinema, at £3.25m through Chesterton Humberts (as above).

BUY TO REPLACE

High Beeches, Swaines Hill, Hampshire: 10-bedroom Fifties house with 11 acres in prime spot at £1.495m through Strutt & Parker (01256 702892). Rebuilt, it could be worth £3.5m. A further 25 acres is priced at £175,000.

Delmont, near Malmesbury, Wiltshire: Fifties-built four-bedrooom house and former forge set in more than three acres with views over adjoining meadows to the River Avon, at £650,000, through Strutt & Parker (01285 653101).

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Carol Smillie’s beach house for sale.

Television presenter Carol Smillie’s beautiful beach house is up for sale.

CarolSmillie1 Carol Smillies beach house for sale.

Nine years have passed since Carol Smillie’s final appearance on the BBC’s Changing Rooms series but she has only just achieved her own makeover ambition – transforming part of her Scottish beach house into the dream room she always wanted.

“I craved a white space to relax in. Now I’ve created it in an upstairs bedroom,” she says, referring to a converted 19th-century house in rural Ayrshire, which her family has used as a holiday retreat since buying it in 1999.

“The room used to be an old sail loft, so the floorboards and walls were different dark colours where the sails had been left and rotted. But I’ve given it a bleached beachy feel with white floors and white walls. It’s become my place to chill,” says the presenter.

The irony is that Carol, along with her restaurateur husband Alex Knight and their three children aged 12 to 17, are now selling the home. “We bought it as a place for the kids to enjoy old-fashioned growing up – playing on the beach, having the wind in their hair, not sitting in front of a computer. Now they’re the age when they’d rather go to parties,” she admits.

Carolesmilliedogs Carol Smillies beach house for sale.

The property was built in the 1870s as a lifeguard station, but has been modernised by the couple, who added a bedroom and bathroom. It has four bedrooms in all plus a large open-plan ground-floor living area and a wide decking area overlooking the beach.

Its unusual location – in private grounds near the village of Maidens, two miles from the famous Turnberry golf course on the south west coast of Scotland – is the main reason why the family bought it.

Carol says: “We sat outside when it was for sale thinking of reasons we shouldn’t buy it. We told ourselves the beach would fill up with noisy tourists and it didn’t. We said the house would be damp and it wasn’t. So we took the plunge as it’s been a huge part of our lives ever since.”

Carole smillie bedroom Carol Smillies beach house for sale.

The Smillies have visited once a month for the past 13 years and have held regular New Year’s Day parties for families and friends who flocked there for views of the Irish Sea and the Isle of Arran.

“It’s the perfect spot for getting away from it all. The property’s been simple to keep up – we’ve never had a cleaner – and the location has kept its basic old-fashioned quality. There’s no fish and chip shop, no amusement arcade, just the beach and the sea.”

There is history, too. Carol was once stopped by a local woman whose father had made a catamaran in the lounge of the house back in the Sixties. “We invited her father to see the house as it is now and he presented me with a charming video they’d made using cine film of the catamaran being made and launched. It’s a real community like that,” she says.

Carole smillie bedroom 2jpg Carol Smillies beach house for sale.

Carol has no regrets about leaving Changing Rooms, famous for two-day makeovers with a tight £500 budget. The programme, which ran for eight years, was considered one of Britain’s first reality TV shows and gave the public their initial glimpse of interior design gurus Linda Barker, Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen and Anna Ryder Richardson, as well as Cockney carpenter “Handy Andy” Kane. The format was sold to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“The old phrase ‘an Englishman’s home is his castle’ is what made the show a success. Everyone likes to see the latest design for their home, especially if they are shown how to achieve it without huge expense,” says Carol. Her role as host involved coaxing the prima donna designers to stick to their budgets and deadlines.

“We’re all pretty nosy when it comes to wanting to know what other peoples’ homes are like. We judge people by seeing where and how they live. That’s one reason why Changing Rooms was such a success and is still remembered today,” she says.

The family is now concentrating on Alex’s restaurant business – he has three eateries in St Andrews and one in Stirling – with another completely new business venture being announced in the autumn.

Carole smillie living Carol Smillies beach house for sale.

Carol and Alex are not going to replace The Beach House with another retreat. They already have a detached Victorian house in Glasgow and a modern holiday home on the Algarve in Portugal “where there’s at least some guaranteed sun”, she says.

They admit to having mixed emotions about leaving the property, but Carol says it is time to move on. “It’s the end of an era, whether we like it or not. The house needs to be loved by another family, just as it’s been loved by ours.”

The Beach House is on sale for offers over £395,000 through Knight Frank, 0131 222 9600, knightfrank.com and CKD Galbraith, 01292 268181, ckdgalbraith.co.uk. Furnishings are also for sale by separate arrangement.

Original Article Can Be Found Here.