Unique Property Bulletin 28 October 2012

Harry Potter’s Birthplace

De Vere House, Lavenham, Suffolk (c) 2012 Duttons Agency

Our headline property for sale, and featured in this week’s Bulletin is brimming with interesting things. More than might first meet the eye. It is especially known as the birthplace of Harry Potter.

The front door of de Vere House – or rather as this place is known by many – the principal building in fiction’s Godric Hollow, can fairly be described as priceless. Not only in setting fictional records for what toddled out of here, but in fact. The Harry Potter film series (eight movies incorporated in the official figures quoted here) cost some $1,155,000,000 to make, and then returned almost seven times that in box-office receipts at $7,706,147,978. Not to mention a little bit of merchandising which you may possibly have noticed. The star of this remarkable series is of course Daniel Radcliffe…

Daniel Radcliffe is Harry Potter (c) 2012 Joella Marano

The Harry Potter brand is listed as being worth 15 billion. Most importantly though, this series has brought pleasure of films to millions of families. It has made reading books fashionable again. The numbers above are merely mentioned to help inform the mind as to how staggering the impact of the words JK Rowling placed on sheets of 80gsm paper are. Price: £2.58 per 500 x A4 sheets from Tescos ! The ink cartridges are a little more costly at £14.99 each. Probably the best £17.59 JK Rowling has ever spent.

Sorry, I digress. Age creeps on. Back to the birthplace of Harry Potter and a modest – even if ancient and impressive front door. Perhaps not so obscure though. It is understood that the front door of Harry Potter’s birthplace is second only in being photographed to 10 Downing Street, home of the British Prime Minister.

De Vere House, Lavenham, Suffolk (c) 2012 Simon Huguet

Harry Potter & The Transit Van Of Azkaban

Harry Potter as a toddler asides, this enigmatic building has not just one, but two iconic writers associated with it. Both William Shakespeare and J.K. Rowling have a connection with this wonderful Grade I Listed building.

What are the odds?

To find out more of the connection between William Shakespeare and JK Rowling at de Vere House, you could take a look at …


Though a far better way is to chat with the very amenable owner – and remarkably tolerant of people photographing his house – Mr Tony Ranzetta. Having said that, a lot of people came across to our own unusual property at Ailsa Craig Island, and we always felt if someone had made such an effort, then it was the least that could be done to reciprocate a little time and hospitality. Indeed from this writer’s perspective we made many good friends that way. So there is something very positive about living in an unusual home.

Interior – De Vere House, Lavenham, Suffolk (c) 2012 Duttons Agency

Now as to the star listing of this week’s Unique Property Bulletin and the estate agent’s precis:

This three bedroom 14th century cottage, which includes a self catering wing, is on the market for £950,000. The Grade I listed building called de Vere House in Lavenham, Suffolk, was used to create the fictional village of Godric’s Hollow, in Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part One. It was featured as the birthplace of both Harry Potter and his wizarding mentor and headmaster, Albus Dumbledore. It was also where Harry’s parents made their final stand before being slain by Lord Voldemort, immortalising the house as the backdrop where Harry received his characteristic scar.

There are reams more that can be written, but JK Rowling does a far better job. We would simply recommend that if you are looking to live in a genuinely historic 14th century house in one of the prettiest villages in the country, please telephone Duttons Estate Agency and visit the delightful Mr Tony Ranzetta for a cup of coffee. You never know, Mr Ranzetta may very well hand you the keys of that very famous, very ancient front door? Though you will first have to write a modest cheque out for the honour.

Harry Potter’s Birthplace (c) 2012 Mr Tony Ranzetta.

Location: De Vere House, Water Street, Lavenham, Suffolk. CO10 9RW.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £950,000.

Contact Duttons Agency Tel: 01284 749433.

Online Brochure ….


Very Helpful Floorplan …..



Harry Potter’s Literal Birthplace?

JK Rowling’s Edinburgh Sanctuary (c) 2012 Retties.

This is a little embarassing. The writer of this listing has the awkward admission of having never read a Harry Potter book. I own three of the books, but haven’t gotten round to reading them. Saving that pleasure for a rainy day.

Meanwhile in this Unique Property Bulletin we have the first listing above, which is the birthplace of Harry Potter as portrayed in the films. As a two-for-one we also have the somewhat special home of JK Rowling for sale in this edition as well. Complete with “secret door”. This subsequent listing is either the “literal birthplace” of Harry Potter …

The Study Where Literary Magic Was Written (c) 2012 Retties.

Or at least where a sizeable portion of the narrative was transferred from imagination, mind, to ink and paper. A striking, and almost sad thing is the need for three exits from this property. JK Rowling says the worst times were after she gave birth. Paparazzi camped outside. For all the money and fame, any budding author or potential television star might reflect, is this really what you want from any success? Just a thought.

The Garden Sanctuary – Fame Has It’s Price – Privacy Has Value Too (c) 2012 Retties.

With such a magnificent main house, the writer of this short listing has a fascination with the Garden Sanctuary. Not sure why.

View Outwith From Within The Garden Sanctuary (c) 2012 Retties.

Maybe we should include a little about the big house: An exceptional detached family home standing within a large yet discreet landscaped and walled garden in one of Edinburgh’s most exclusive conservation areas. The property has been redesigned and extended utilising the very best in modern fixtures and fittings to complement retained Victorian period features and now provides incredibly bright, beautifully proportioned and flexible accommodation over two floors while also incorporating a detached split level office with kitchen and shower room (offering potential use as additional accommodation), summerhouse, various outhouses and a double garage accessed from the cobbled lane to the rear.

In all 6,847 square feet.

For those unfamiliar with the Scottish property system, it does differ from the rest of the United Kingdom. Our advice, if you have an interest in this unique property, is to contact the agents and “register an interest”. That means if it goes, as is likely to what is called a “closing date” the agent, as a courtesy, will notify you of this date in advance so that if you would like to make an offer (via your solicitors as is the Scottish protocol) then you should have some reasonable notice to do this.

Good luck if any of our readers if they buy JK Rowling’s house. It must have some excellent atmosphere to it, given the hugely successful writing career JK Rowling has had.

Location: 1 Abbotsford Park, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH10 5DX .

Tenure: Feuhold (Scottish Equivalent of Freehold).

Guide: Offers over £2,250,000.

Contact Rettie & Co., Tel: 0131 624 9068 – James Whitson

Online Brochure ….



The Lakes. The Boats. The Boathouse.

The Boathouse, Lake Windermere (c) 2012 Fine & Country.

The Lakes in Cumbria are a favourite and impressive destination. Here is a dream of a home. A chance to live by, in fact live partly on the water.

Fine Interior – The Boathouse, Lake Windermere (c) 2012 Fine & Country.

This is a detached, two bedroom, two bathroom boathouse. It has a wet dock, and is nestled within the prestigious Pullwood Estate which has undergone significant investment in recent years and which borders the western shores of Lake Windermere. Originally constructed around 1870 the property has been sympathetically restored, modernised and refurbished by the present vendors to create a stylish and contemporary property using the highest quality fittings and appointments such as solid oak floors. Below is a must-have for boat lovers…

The Boathouse, Lake Windermere (c) 2012 Fine & Country.

The sale provides a marvellous opportunity to acquire a property of this calibre which is set within approximately one acre of its own private grounds including approximately 200m of lake frontage. The sale also includes the right to use estates private jetty.

The Boathouse, Lake Windermere (c) 2012 Fine & Country

The Boathouse is located in a lovely rural setting which offers peace and tranquillity but is within easy reach of the popular conservation village of Hawkshead and the wide variety of amenities of the market town of Ambleside.

Location: The Boat House, Pullwood Bay, Lake Windermere, Cumbria, LA22 0HZ.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £1,975,000.

Contact Fine & Country Agencies Tel: 01539 733500.

Online Brochure ….



NEW Monthly FEATURE Online Now – Please Click Here

Our first listing at the top of this page – in relation to the Harry Potter books – may have made author JK Rowling half a billion pounds, but this red book is worth several hundred billion pounds. Read on. Just click the weblink immediately above the picture of the big red book.


Wroxham Waterfront – Wasteland To Waterborne

The Rhond, Wroxham, Norfolk (c) 2012 Strutt & Parker

Following on from our Lake Windermere £1,975,000 single waterside property above, here we have seven waterside building plot bargains working out at around £60,000 for each site. This may be of interest to many readers who are looking for a waterside way of life. Not just a home, but the lifestyle that has a job and interest with it. For the avoidance of doubt, the sellers are looking to sell all seven plots as one single lot – total for this guided at £425,000.

The Rhond at Wroxham waterfront development site is in a prominent location at the heart of the Norfolk Broads. Currently the land has been razed and is wasting. A planning permission has now been approved for SIX holiday homes (with restricted occupancy rules for holidaymaker use) plus ONE other unit for the occupation of the manager, or in the case of a site buyer, developer and owner, probably themselves. Though the usual caveat that any prospective buyer should contact the local North Norfolk Council planning department for absolute confirmation of what is and isn’t allowed is hereby given. Their number is: 01263 513 811.

The Rhond, Wroxham, Norfolk (c) 2012 Strutt & Parker

The proposed development at Daisy Harbour ensures all the units will benefit from direct views onto the picturesque Daisy Broad. Five of the units will have their own private moorings, with one unit allocated two moorings. There are a further six moorings to be coupled with the properties or offered separately. For many of our readers, getting waterborne is very important. This fills that need.

The quay heading has been recently renewed in accordance with the Broads Authorities specification. The proposed development comprises seven terraced houses to be used as holiday homes. There is also planning permission for two detached permanent houses which are NOT included in this sale, but can be bought by separate negotiation with the sales agency.

The Rhond, Wroxham, Norwich (c) 2012 Strutt & Parker

The properties are to be built and arranged on either two or three floors and the accommodation, which has been measured off plan is as follows:-

Terraced Holiday Home Planning Permission For:-

Unit A – 96 sq m (1,031 sq ft)
Unit B – 147 sq m (1,579 sq ft)
Unit C – 97 sq m (1,045 sq ft)
Unit D – 97 sq m (1,045 sq ft)
Unit E – 145 sq m (1,559 sq ft)
Unit F – 145 sq m (1,559 sq ft)
Unit G – 96 sq m (1,031 sq ft)

Agency Note: Planning Permission (Ref: B1 20050614 PF) was granted which included planning permission for seven terraced units with planning permission for holiday homes with revised and renovated moorings together with parking and garaging. One of the units is to be used as accommodation for a site manager, who is the only person who can occupy for more than 8 continuous weeks in any calendar year.

Location: Daisy Harbour is situated in Wroxham and considered to be the centre of the Norfolk Broads. Wroxham is a thriving capital of The Broads where numerous commercial and leisure boating companies are located. There are a number of businesses including Norfolk Broads, Wroxham Holidays, Hoseasons and Roys of Wroxham.

Location: The Rhond, Hoveton, Norwich, NR12 8UE.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £425,000 (Lot 2 – Waterside Building Plots for 7 Units).

Contact Strutt & Parker Agencies Tel: 01603 883620 – Mr Russell de Beer.

Online Brochure ….



Idyllic Inishturk Island

Inishturk Beg Island (c) 2012 Knight Frank

Wow. We have gone from wizards to water with this edition. At Unique Property Bulletin we have islands in our DNA, and also knowing the likes of Ailsa Craig Island which requires a lot of work, here we have one, maybe not as famous, but at a similar price level, AND with ALL the work done to make it into an idyllic island paradise. This is even more interesting as it cost Secret Millionaire Nadim Sadek a reputed 9,000,000 euros to complete the project, but is being sold off by the official receivers at a 70% discount. Ouch. Given that there are several detached dwellings on the island, possibly a candidate for a modest Unique Property Syndicate. A rough calculation of the arithmetic, and shaving a bit of the property price due to circumstance, the back of an envelope workings would be about £280,000 a house and relatively exclusive use of the rest of the island. Please email us if you think this is viable or worth exploring.

First Foot – Inishturk Beg Island Access Pontoon (c) 2012 Knight Frank

This wonderful island is off of the west coast of Ireland and home to one of the most sumptuous multi-million euro luxury property developments together with excellent access to the mainland.

Inishturk Beg Island – Main Residence (c) 2012 Knight Frank

Inishturk Beg covers approximately 65 acres with as many as 5 island houses, a pier, floating marina and magnificent main residence.

Inishturk Beg Island – Traditional Style House (c) 2012 Knight Frank

The island’s accommodation has been developed to the most spectacular standards with the planning and design undertaken by the European Young Architect of the Year, Andrew Wright. Island House is a stunning designed (12,000sq.ft) 2-storey house with 6 bedrooms, reception rooms and an adjacent leisure complex comprising a gym area, games room, cinema, céile hall, large indoor heating swimming pool and jacuzzi, surrounded by external terraces.

Inishturk Beg Island – Modern Style Buildings (c) 2012 Knight Frank

General Cottage Details: The Pavilion, (c, 1,600 sq ft), Reef Cottage (700sq ft), Yard Cottage (600 sq ft) and Pier Cottage which is a spacious 3 bedroom cottage with 3 reception rooms. There is also a Crafts House. Other amenities include the artifical grass Tennis/Basketball/Football court, the state of the art Boat House, American Barns, the original pier and floating jetty.

General Agency Heads Of Description:-

15 Bedrooms

7 Reception rooms

6 Bathrooms

Leisure Facilities






Secondary Accommodation

Stabling / Equestrian

Swimming Pool

Tennis Court


Private Parking (for cars, boats and helicopters)

65.00 acres (26.3 hectares) Approximately

Inishturk Beg Island – Wonderful Water Indoors (c) 2012 Knight Frank

Location: Inishturk Beg Island, Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland.

Tenure: Eire Freehold.

Guide: Ireland Euro €2,850,000 – Original cost approximately Euro €9,000,000

Contact Knight Frank Agencies Tel: +353 1 662 3255 – Mr Robert Ganly.

Online Brochure ….



Robin Hood’s Foe

Cross Street Police Offices, Nottingham (c) 2012 Lambert Smith Hampton

Following from recent sales of police stations featured in the Bulletin, we have an email from a reader in Nottingham with an appetite to convert a former police station and asking for building candidates in the area. This is genuine, and not a Les Dawson line – he really does want a room for his mother-in-law. No prizes for guessing which sort of room within the former police station he has earmarked for the lady!

Anyways, we have the above offering on budget, and in the Nottingham area at Cross Street, Bilsthorpe. The details are a little light, but here is what the agency wrote:-

Former Police contact point for sale located in the predominantly residential area of Bilsthorpe. There are a small number of shops and a Library forming the village centre which is approximately 200 yards from the subject premises. The property is potentially suitable for various uses – STP. Approximately 873 sq ft (81 sq m). Not sure how much value per square foot this is, but it is within budget. However, we couldn’t help notice something else. Though a little out of the budget range …

Thatcham Police Station (c) 2012 Lambert Smith Hampton

This elegant detached building is a little on the high side for what we were asked to find, but it has a lot going for it. Located at postcode RG18 4QL and anyone interested in this big detached former police station can find out more from Mr Richard Waterson on 01865 200244.

Sorry, we strayed a bit there. That is the problem and the enjoyment from keeping this website going. You never know where the week’s property meandering will take you, and what curious buildings are out there to live in.

Location: Former Police Offices, Cross Street, Bilsthorpe, Nottingham, NG22 8QY.

Tenure: Freehold.

Guide: £110,000.

Contact Lambert Smith Hampton Tel: 0115 976 6604 – Mr Sean Bremner

Online Brochure ….



In case you missed it, and in addition to our weekly Unique Property Bulletin – our monthly FEATURE has been uploaded and is available via this link ….

Click Here For NEW Monthly FEATURE


…. and finally

Light Mill

Achingale Mill , Watten, KW1 5XY (c) 2012 Wilsons Auction.

An update on this Mill we featured a while back. The absentee American owners have reduced the price again, and again. From £179,000 in July 2009……

Historic Sales Brochure At £179,000

Then gradually reduced to £50,000. Now it has failed to sell at auction a few days ago. The last reduction brought it down to £39,000. Anyone feeling cheeky might like to make a very light offer with say a £29,000 call to the auctioneer. You never know, it might be accepted. Or even just meet the seller halfway at £34,000. Then just sell up your current three bed semi-detached in the city, buy a caravan and park it next door to your own bargain priced Grand Design in the raw. A nice way to spend a pleasant year or so renovating this classic unique property.

Telephone Wilsons Auction – Paul Bott: 01294 833444.



Any Unique Property Bulletin readers who have an interest in any of the above, but need some further detail, please feel free to email us by clicking on this link and we shall do our best to help.


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