They're not so dumb in Dummer, Fergie
Royal nostalgia could well account for the relatively high price of Well House, a timber-framed, thatched-roof property with only three bedrooms and a modest quarter-acre garden for sale in Dummer, near Basingstoke, for £580,000 through Knight Frank.
It’s only a canter from Dummer Down Farm, the 480-acre childhood home of royal black sheep the Duchess of York, still occupied by her step-mum Susan Ferguson. The 17th-century cottage is even closer to Dummer Grange, the 1,200-acre family spread of former It-girl and royal favourite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.
Of course, apart from its regal profile the village’s popularity may also be due to its ace commuter train service to Waterloo.
Supermodel Kate Moss, the archetypal north London party gal, is adjusting well to the bucolic lifestyle at her £2 million Grade II-listed Oxfordshire farmhouse near Lechlade.
“I need to get away from the city every weekend to talk, cook, ride my bicycle to Londis to pick up veg and do the country thing,” she says. “I had another place in the country for three years. Then there was a year that I didn’t have it and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was absolutely lost without it.”
The Croydon-raised travel agent’s daughter describes her present six-bedroom Cotswold stone pad as “so gorgeous, with wild roses that go all the way up to the chimney and a garden full of jasmine”.
A perfect playground indeed for her eight-year-old daughter Lila Grace by magazine editor Jefferson Hack, and a chill-out zone for her fiancé, rock guitarist Jamie Hince. They also share a newly-acquired £7.5 million seven-bedroom Highgate mansion.
Flamboyant US couturier Tommy Hilfiger has added a third pad to his lavish property portfolio. He paid £20 million for a Normandy chateau-style mansion set in 22 Connecticut acres.
The New York watchmaker’s son and his wife, former model Dee Ocleppo, are mainly based in their 6,000sq ft Plaza Hotel duplex overlooking Central Park, where he is surrounded by his 20-plus Andy Warhol originals.
They also own a six-bedroom Caribbean holiday home with five guest cottages on Mustique near Mick Jagger, Bill Gates and Bryan Adams. “Sometimes I think that there’s something very endearing about the simple life,” Hilfiger reflects. “Maybe it would be nice to have something simple and small, a beach shack somewhere.”
Singer Billy Lunn has at last found a buyer for the idyllic Essex country cottage that he cannily bought with his share of his first £500,000 recording contract in 2006.
First on the market 12 months ago at £230,000 he has sold the three-bedroom, pink-washed terrace Thaxted property for £198,500.
The raucous frontman of alternative rock band The Subways was impressed by the Domesday Book village’s quaintness: its 15th-century timbered guildhall; Georgian windmill; highwayman Dick Turpin’s cottage and Roman road Watling Street. The band has built a cult following at Reading, Leeds and other music festivals.