Life

By Liam Geraghty

The luxurious village house which celebrated artist Rex Whistler used to call home is on the market.

Bolebec House in Whitchurch, Bucks, sits at the foot at the ruins of Bolebec Castle, which was destroyed before 1651 under the orders of Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War.

Fine & Country/MERCURY PRESS

The current dwelling is believed to date from the early 18th century and now sits on up to 22 acres of land.

Painter, illustrator and designer Mr Whistler painted his iconic landscape art piece of ‘The Vale of Aylesbury’ while standing in the main gardens of the house, overlooking the rolling green Chiltern Hills.

The five-bedroom home is up for sale for £2.25 million with luxury estate agents Fine & Country.

Bolebec House is positioned just off the centre of the picturesque village with formal rear gardens that overlook the landscape.

Bolebec Castle was built in the 12th century by aristocrat Hugh de Bolebec and was one of 18 such castles in the country at the time, covering six acres in 1264.

Fine & Country/MERCURY PRESS

But after being brought to ruin by Cromwell leaving only a motte and earthworks remaining, there is evidence of old stones that used to form the castle in buildings around the village.

The nearby house is supported by a detached thatched barn annex and a cottage that sits in the 22-acre grounds.

And it still retains the charm and character that attracted Mr Whistler to call it his home before World War II.

The painter, who died in Normandy, France, during the conflict in 1944, brought the ‘Vale of Aylesbury’ to canvas in 1933 while living at the property.

And the building is still a work of art in its own right in the modern day.

Fine & Country/MERCURY PRESS

An impressive galleried entrance hall with high ceiling leads to a double aspect drawing room, panelled dining room and library/media room with its ornate wood carved fireplace.

Fine & Country/MERCURY PRESS

This leads on to a kitchen/breakfast room which is well fitted to suit modern day family living with a sitting area opening onto the gardens.

Fine & Country/MERCURY PRESS

The five bedrooms arranged on the first and second floors include a large master bedroom suite with a large dressing room and bathroom

Fine & Country/MERCURY PRESS

Adjacent to the main house is a pretty thatched barn and converted to an ancillary accommodation with an open plan first floor to suit a number of potential uses.

There is further accommodation provided in Bolebec Cottage, a one/two-bedroom annexe with its own private garden which could be ideal for staff, guests or rental income.

The garden and grounds extend to about 22 acres in total with areas of formal gardens laid to lawn, terrace and featuring a wonderful copper beech tree.

Fine & Country/MERCURY PRESS

There is also a vegetable garden with greenhouses and a sunken water garden believed to have once featured at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Graham Coton of Fine & Country Chilterns North said: “We are so happy to be selling one of the most prestigious and stunning homes in Buckinghamshire.”