On Sept. 26, Sotheby’s will be auctioning art, photographs, memorabilia and jewelry from the estate of the Hollywood icon Vivien Leigh in London. On sale at the same time is the Leigh family’s country property, called Manor Farm House, in Wiltshire, England, for £2.6 million (US$3.4 million).
The actress, most famous for her role was Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind,” often found refuge in the home, according to a news release from Sotheby’s.
The estate, which dates from the 17th century, is a quintessential English country house and was chosen by Leigh and her first husband Herbert Leigh Holman for its Queen Anne style, grounds and gardens, according to the Daily Mail.
Savills / © J Stone 2012
“The house itself has just got a very nice feel,” said Savills Salisbury listing agent Charles Stone. “It’s quite untouched and hasn’t been spoiled.”
Set on just over an acre, the property includes a main house with seven bedrooms and four bathrooms. There are period details, including impressive fireplaces, working shutters and two attractive oval windows, and a beautiful oak staircase in the reception hall, according to the listing.
The house was put up for sale in June and is being sold separately from the Sotheby’s auction.
There a range of stone outbuildings including barns and workshops. In addition, there is an open bay car barn for six cars. There are also two cottages and grounds that include a walled garden, a pond, and an orchard and tennis court.
Indeed, though they were no longer married, Leigh helped Holman choose the house in 1959 when he took a 21-year lease on the property. Subsequently, Leigh and Holman’s only daughter took over the estate.
Neville Farrington, Leigh’s grandson explained the decision to sell the property as a matter of timing.
“My mother Suzanne Farrington (Leigh’s daughter) lived in Manor Farm House up until her death two-and-a half-years ago. My brothers and I have families and homes of our own and have decided now is the right time to move on,” he explained in an email.
Leigh was married to Holman for eight years, until she divorced him in 1940 to marry Laurence Olivier. The Sotheby’s auction includes memorabilia of her very public life with Olivier.
Manor Farm House, on the other hand, seems to have served as a quieter place for Leigh to regroup. She was often a guest at the house and her signature appears on nearly every page of the visitor’s book. She died of tuberculosis in 1967 at age 53.
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