A historic windmill within the English countryside that appeared alongside Dick Van Dyke and a magical flying automobile within the 1968 film “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” has gone up on the market.
The black-and-white Cobstone Mill, in Buckinghamshire, England, simply outdoors London, is a part of a property that additionally features a principal home, about 37 acres of land and a swimming pool. It could possibly be yours for 9 million kilos (about $11.4 million).
The mill is believed to have been constructed round 1816 and was used to grind cereal till 1873, according to Savills, the actual property agency promoting the property. Earlier than the windmill could possibly be used as a film location it wanted substantial renovations. The property had been broken by a hearth and, in response to native media reviews on the time, squatters had been residing in it.
Within the movie, which was loosely based mostly on a kids’s guide by the James Bond creator Ian Fleming, the windmill served as the house for Mr. Van Dyke’s character, a nutty, widowed inventor named Caractacus Potts, who lives together with his kids, Jeremy and Jemima. Collectively together with his love curiosity, Actually Delicious, performed by Sally Ann Howes, and his automobile, named Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for its distinctive engine sounds, they journey to the land of Vulgaria to battle the tyrant Baron Bomburst.
However the windmill’s movie trade connections didn’t finish there.
Within the early Nineteen Seventies, the actress Hayley Mills owned the property after her husband, Roy Boulting, a movie director, purchased it at public sale for about $35,000, Ms. Mills mentioned in a telephone interview.
When she heard in regards to the asking worth, she mentioned she “almost fell off my chair.” Ms. Mills mentioned she remembered visiting the property together with her younger son and having picnics on the hill, having fun with what she referred to as among the finest views in England. “I assumed it was some huge cash then,” she mentioned.
In her 2021 memoir “Eternally Younger,” Ms. Mills wrote that she acknowledged the property instantly as the house in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”
“It was love at first sight,” she wrote, envisioning herself and her husband watching their youngster play within the afternoon solar, despite the fact that the property was “completely impractical.”
Ms. Mills by no means lived within the property, as a result of her marriage ended earlier than the renovations had been accomplished, she mentioned. In the long run, the couple owned it for a few 12 months.
Stepping contained in the windmill within the Nineteen Seventies was a particular expertise, too, in response to Ms. Mills, as a result of it was nonetheless a working windmill with its elements in tact.
The property was later owned by David Brown, an English industrialist and a former proprietor of the automaker Aston Martin. Within the Eighties, the property was offered to the present proprietor, in response to Stephen Christie-Miller, one of many realtors on the itemizing.
“It’s such a landmark whenever you drive via the valley,” Mr. Christie-Miller mentioned, “It dominates.”
The windmill is a Grade II-listed constructing, which suggests it’s thought of of nationwide significance and is legally protected against being demolished or considerably altered with out particular permission.
Although the value tag is steep, there was curiosity within the property, Mr. Christie-Miller mentioned, particularly for the often gradual month of August throughout which many potential consumers are on trip.
“So many individuals realize it,” he mentioned, including that he was planning to indicate the windmill to 2 potential consumers on Wednesday and had already confirmed it to 1 couple who had been, he mentioned, “very eager.”
Since peaking in August final 12 months, home costs in Britain have begun to drop. Final month, costs fell 3.8 % in contrast with a 12 months earlier, in response to Nationwide Building Society, the steepest annual drop in additional than a decade.
Between the windmill and the home, the property has six bedrooms and 4 bogs, in response to the itemizing. The windmill’s sails had been restored prior to now 18 months, in response to Savills.
With views over the close by countryside, “the windmill itself could be a stunning place to have an workplace,” Mr. Christie-Miller mentioned, however added, “not that you simply’d get any work finished.”
It’s not simply “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” followers who is perhaps excited. The windmill appears to be like over the village of Turville, the place scenes from the Nineties English sitcom “Vicar of Dibley” had been filmed.
Mr. Christie-Miller mentioned the itemizing stands out in his 40-year profession. “It comes up as soon as in a era,” he mentioned.
Ms. Mills, the actress and former proprietor, additionally emphasised how particular the property was.
“It’s fully distinctive,” she mentioned. “It’s laborious to place a worth on one thing that distinctive.”