Best-selling British crime writer Felix Francis has put his 17th-century country house in Banbury, England, on the market asking for offers over £4.5 million (US$5.49 million).
Manor House, as it’s known, dates to 1607 and is located on the edge of the Cotswolds, the quintessentially British region of picturesque villages, charming cottages and unspoiled countryside. It’s belonged to Francis, 70, and his wife, Debbie, since 2007. They paid £1.8 million, property records show.
Advertisement – Scroll to Continue
The couple have “sympathetically extended and improved,” the stone property during their tenure, according to Savills, which brought the home to the market earlier this month.
“You can really see how Felix and his family have thoughtfully restored the home, while sensitively adding to it,” said Nicholas Rudge, head of Savills Banbury. “When people think of what a Cotswolds home should look, feel and live like, Manor House is definitely what people envisage.”
Spanning some 8,200 square feet, the property retains myriad period details, including fireplaces, flagstone floors, exposed timbers, stone mullion windows, paneled doors, decorative moldings, and bay and shuttered windows.
Highlights of the home include the central reception hall with its sweeping oak staircase, the bespoke kitchen, and the office and galleried library with fitted bookshelves where Francis has written many of his works, according to Savills.
Before becoming a writer himself, Francis assisted his father—legendary steeplechase jockey and bestselling crime writer Dick Francis—in researching his novels.
The two collaborated on a number of stories, with Francis’s first solo book, published in 2011 following his father’s death in 2010, marking the start of his own “Dick Francis novel” franchise.
“My wife, Debbie, and I have greatly enjoyed our 16 years in the Manor House,” Francis said. “I have written 16 of the ‘Dick Francis novels’ here in the expansive office, including my latest, “No Reserve,” which is published this autumn. The house has been a great inspiration for my writing, but Debbie and I feel that, with our children now having flown the coop, it is time for another family to take over the stewardship of this historic Oxfordshire property.
The home sits on close to 5 acres, and outside there’s a heated swimming pool, a stone pool house, ample gardens, stables and a standalone two-bedroom cottage—perfect for visiting guests or staff, according to Savills.