Sunday, August 1, 2021

Cinematic bliss

Former home of film director Richard Attenborough for sale for £12.75 million

 

The Academy Award winning actor, producer and director Lord Attenborough is best known for his roles in such hits as The Great Escape, Gandhi and 10 Rillington Place but it was at Old Friars, his home of many years in Richmond, Surrey, that he was able to enjoy watching films in privacy due to the house having its very own private cinema.

 

Lord and Lady Attenborough
Lord and Lady Attenborough

The front of Old Friars, The Green, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1NQ
The front of Old Friars, The Green, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1NQ

Comprising of some 13,768 square foot of accommodation in total, Grade II* listed Old Friars was bought by Richard Attenborough and his actress wife Shelia Sim in 1949 and is thought to have been built in 1687. Part of the building, Beaver Lodge, had previously been used as a concert room in the 1720s and during the 19th century the house was the headquarters of the Richmond Liberal & Radical Club.

 

The rear of the house
The rear of the house

The property includes an imposing staircase
The property includes an imposing staircase

The garden and cinema building beyond
The garden and cinema building beyond

Lord and Lady Attenborough sold Old Friars for £11.5 million in October 2012 and at the time, Sir David Attenborough told The Telegraph’s ‘Mandrake’ columnist Tim Walker:

 

“He and his wife both loved the house, but they now need full-time care. It simply isn’t practical to keep the house on any more”.

 

It appears little has been done to Old Friars in the time since. Now for sale with Savills for £12.75 million, the property is described as offering “an opportunity for numerous configurations” but surely, what film buffs will flock for is the two-storey sound proofed cinema complete with a former editing suite, screening room and projection room at the end of the garden.

 

 

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