A Hobbit-style house that has links to James Bond creator Ian Fleming has gone on the market for £400,000.
The rustic property sits in woods of an estate in East Stoke, Dorset, that belonged to the family whose ancestor inspired the character 007.
The Grade II listed Stockford Lodge was also the venue for romantic liaisons by the English artist Augustus John.
The enchanting Stockford Lodge in East Stoke, Dorset, could be yours after Domvs estate agents put it on the market for £400,000
The kitchen still has a space for a dishwasher and large fridge/freezer and the breakfast room even has underfloor heating
The quirky Grade II listed home, which sits in an acre of grounds, has plastered cob walls and a thatched roof which looks very similar to the old fashioned hobbit houses from the Lord of the Rings
In history of art circles rumour has is that Augustus John and three fellow artists – Charles Conder, John Everett and Arthur Meade, painted murals of naked women on the walls of the house, only for them to be whitewashed by Meade’s wife.
So the inhabitants of the lodge might be sitting near murals that could be worth thousands of pounds.
The petite lodge has plastered cob walls and a thatched roof.
It is believed to date from the late 18th century or early 19th century and has a cosy 722 square feet of space.
The enchanting one-bedroom cottage was originally built as the lodge house to a grand property that was owned by the descendants of John Bond, an Elizabethan spy said to have inspired Fleming’s famous MI5 agent.
Bond was renowned for his work for Queen Elizabeth I in the late 1500s, assisting Sir Francis Drake on many escapades, including the 1586 raid on the Azores, which Spain had just bought from Portugal.
It was during the raid that Bond first saw the Latin phrase ‘non sufficit orbis’, which directly translates to ‘the world is not enough’.
It is thought the spy adopted it as his family motto as a jokey pun at the expense of the Spanish king.
Fleming was aware of the Bond family from his days at Durnford School, a prep school in Langton Matravers, Dorset.
After being sold by the Bonds, Stockford Lodge was later used regularly by Augustus John as a site for his countless romantic conquests from about the turn of the century.
It has a history of romantic liasons and city getaways with its cozy rooms and open fireplace. Rumour has is that Augustus John murals still exist under the whitewashed walls
There is one octagonal-shaped bedroom but it has two doorways – on the left is a double bed and to the right are cupboards with cleverly designed double and single beds built in for extra accommodation
The bathroom has a roll top bath which only just fits into the room – causing the tiles to bulge outwards as they accommodate it. There is a toilet adjoining the bedroom upstairs
The previous owners have used it as holiday home since the Second World War. The house originally went on sale in 2016 but had to be quickly taken off the market when the owner’s husband died
The current owner bought the property in the mid 1980s after she discovered that her husband was born there after he was evacuated to Dorset with his mother during the Second World War
It was regularly used by bohemian artist Augustus John as he openly cohabited with his wife and his model
The promiscuous painter openly cohabited with his wife Ida and his model Dorelia, who he married after Ida’s death.
He also had a number of girlfriends who he fathered several children with before his death in 1961.
The current owner bought the cottage in the 1980s after noticing it advertised for sale.
She was drawn to the property after discovering that her husband had been born there after being evacuated to Dorset with his mother and sibling during the Second World War.
Following her husband’s death, the owner has decided the time is right to sell the fun-sized home and it has been listed by estate agents Domvs of Wareham, Dorset.
The agents have described the thatched cottage as ‘magical’ and have been taking a ‘huge amount’ of interest.
Trisha Ashby-Rudd, associate director of Domvs, said: ‘It really is absolutely beautiful to look at, like a gingerbread house, you could almost imagine Hansel and Gretel living there.
‘I understand that Augustus John may have enjoyed a few liaisons there too but for me the connection with the current owners is the most moving.’
She added: ‘Because it’s a lodge it’s near to the road but there are also two acres of woodland garden.
‘You can see why it’s such a special, magical place for the couple who lived here and we’ve already been taking a lot of interest.’
WHO WAS AUGUSTUS JOHN?
Augustus Edwin John was born in Pembrokeshire January 4 1878 and died aged 83 on October 31 1961.
He was celebrated for his figure drawings and a new technique, oil sketching.
He married his first wife Ida Nettleship, of whom he did many portraits of, in early 1990 and they have five children.
After Ida’s death he married his mistress Dorelia McNeill and they had two children.
He had children by many other affairs and because of his promiscuity there were rumours he had fathered as many as 100 children over the course of his life.
After his etchings and drawings, the bulk of Mr John’s later work consisted of portraits, some of the best of which were of his two wives and his children.
A huge show of his work was mounted by the Royal Academy in 1954.
It sits in one acre of woodland with bluebells and wild flowers and looks very private, which may explain why artist Augustus John chose it as his location for romantic liaisons
There is 722 square feet of space as well as outbuildings with water and electricity. The house was owned by descendants of John Bond before it was used by Augustus John
There is a large lawn space for holiday activities and a working privy and summer house. Trisha Ashby-Rudd, of Domvs estate agent which is selling the lodge, said: ‘It really is absolutely beautiful to look at, like a gingerbread house. You could almost imagine Hansel and Gretel living there’