Wiltshire country home once owned by MI6 boss goes on sale for £2.5m

Wiltshire country home once owned by MI6 boss goes on sale for £2.5m

00-heaven! Luxurious country home in Wiltshire once owned by the head of MI6 who was claimed to be the inspiration for James Bond’s ‘M’ goes on sale for £2.5million

  • Bridges Court in Luckington, Wiltshire dates back to before the 18th century as was built with Cotswold stone
  • The seven-bedroom, five-bathroom property is situated in 28 acres of fields and is on sale for £2.5million
  • Sale also includes a three-bedroom barn conversion, stable block, swimming pool and a tennis court 
  • Was previously home to Sir Stewart Menzies, MI6 boss 1939 to 1952 who helped break the Nazi’s Enigma code
  • Said to be model for Ian Fleming’s ‘M’ in James Bond novels and worked with Winston Churchill during the war

The former home of a British spymaster who helped defeat the Nazi and was said to be the inspiration for James Bond’s ‘M’ has gone on the market for £2.5million.

Bridges Court in Luckington, Wilts, was purchased by Sir Stewart Menzies in the 1920s before the became head of MI6 where he led the British Secret Service during and after the Second World War.

The intelligence chief, who oversaw Britain’s success in breaking the Nazi’s Enigma code, used the seven-bed house as his country retreat away from London.

The Grade II listed house is in an idyllic position on the edge of the village with the Cotswolds countryside on the other side.

The sale includes a three-bedroom barn conversion, stable block, swimming pool and tennis court in 30 acres of grounds.

Grad II listed Bridges Court in Luckington, Wiltshire has gone on the market for £2.5million. It boasts seven bedrooms and five bathrooms as well as a three-bedroom barn conversion, stable block, swimming pool and a tennis court

Bridges Court in Luckington, Wilts, was purchased by Sir Stewart Menzies in the 1920s before the became head of MI6 where he led the British Secret Service during and after the Second World War

The Grade II listed house is in an idyllic position on the edge of the village with the Cotswolds countryside on the other side. The property is believed to date back to before the 18th century and has some period features throughout and open fireplaces

The three-storey house has 6,631 sq ft of accommodation with a reception hall, kitchen/breakfast room, dining room, sitting room, library, drawing room on the ground floor

The property is believed to date back to before the 18th century and has some period features throughout and open fireplaces.

Menzies was head of MI6 from 1939 to 1952 and spent his weeks in London and headed to his country home in Luckington at the weekends.

The influential man was reputed to be the model for ‘M’ in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels and he had over 1,500 meetings with Winston Churchill during the war.

The village of Luckington became a centre of intrigue in the late 1930s when a wealthy German aristocrat Baron Robert Treeck leased the manor house next to Bridges Court and tried to recruit Nazi sympathisers among the local gentry.

He disappeared abruptly at the outbreak of war in 1939.

The three-storey house has 6,631 sq ft of accommodation with a reception hall, kitchen/breakfast room, dining room, sitting room, library, drawing room with a minstrels gallery, loggia, cellar, seven bedrooms and five bathrooms.

Rupert Sturgis from Knight Frank, who are handling the sale, said: ‘The great thing with Bridges Court is you get the best of both worlds. Pictured: The main house’s dining room

The village of Luckington became a centre of intrigue in the late 1930s when a wealthy German aristocrat Baron Robert Treeck leased the manor house next to Bridges Court and tried to recruit Nazi sympathisers among the local gentry

‘It’s a fabulous country house right in the village, but you turn around and you have got your land in front of you and that adjoins the Badminton estate – 60,000 acres of unspoilt countryside’

Menzies was head of MI6 from 1939 to 1952 and spent his weeks in London and headed to his country home in Luckington at the weekends

There is also a three-bedroom barn conversion that would make a good guesthouse or extra accommodation for multi-generational families.

The majority of the property’s land is to the west, running up to the neighbouring Badminton Estate and the Cherry Orchard lane.

Rupert Sturgis from Knight Frank, who are handling the sale, said: ‘The great thing with Bridges Court is you get the best of both worlds.

‘It’s a fabulous country house right in the village, but you turn around and you have got your land in front of you and that adjoins the Badminton estate – 60,000 acres of unspoilt countryside.

‘It’s got private gardens with a swimming pool, tennis court – all the toys… There is an L-shaped stable building that could be for horses, garaging, offices, a games room.

Intelligence chief Menzies, who oversaw Britain’s success in breaking the Nazi’s Enigma code, used the seven-bed house as his country retreat away from London on weekends

‘It’s got private gardens with a swimming pool, tennis court – all the toys… There is an L-shaped stable building that could be for horses, garaging, offices, a games room’

‘It has the feel of a manor house and the charm of a farmhouse. Other houses in the area are selling for £3.5m to £4m, so this is a cracking opportunity for someone,’ said Rupert Sturgis from Knight Frank

Bridges Court in Luckington, Wiltshire is on sale for £2.5million with estate agents Knight Frank

‘There is a barn that’s been converted which makes a very nice guest cottage or accommodation for a grandparent.

‘The house is fabulous and has a lot of period features – flagstone floors, mullion windows. There’s a lovely double height drawing room, which is a great room for entertaining.

‘It has the feel of a manor house and the charm of a farmhouse.

‘Other houses in the area are selling for £3.5m to £4m, so this is a cracking opportunity for someone.

‘It does need updating but it has a huge amount of potential.’

Bridges Court in Luckington, Wiltshire is on sale for £2.5million with estate agents Knight Frank, more information can be found by clicking here. 

Sir Stewart Menzies: The man who could be ‘M’

Sir Stewart Menzies became the third man to take on the post of MI6 chief in 1939, and has been credited with turning the relatively uninfluential branch of government into one of the world’s greatest intelligence forces.

Born in 1890 to a wealthy family, he studied at Eton College before joining the Grenadier Guards, and later the Second Life Guards where he gained the rank of Captain before being honourably discharged after a gas attack in 1915.

His work in MI6 (the Secret Intelligence Service) began in 1919, where he was part of the British delegation to the Versailles Peace Conference. He rose through the ranks, eventually becoming the service’s chief on the death of Hugh Sinclair.

During his time as head of MI6 during WW2, Menzies insisted on wartime control of codebreaking and the expansion of Bletchley Park, and this gave him immense power and influence.

He met with Prime Minister Winston Churchill on some 1,500 occasions to keep him continually updated on the Enigma code-breaking efforts.

Menzies had inherited the moniker ‘C’, which had by then become a tradition for the intelligence service’s leaders.

While Ian Fleming did not reveal the true inspiration for his character ‘M’, Menzies was the MI6 boss at the time he wrote his first novel, Casino Royale.

Politician Rupert Allason, who has written many books about intelligence under the pen name Nigel West, said: ‘Without him Bletchley Park simply wouldn’t have happened’. 

Though praised for his work to reform MI6 during the Cold War, Menzies does suffer the black mark of having overseen the service when it appointed Kim Philby, a Soviet spy, as head of the SIS Soviet counterespionage division.

Some historians have described his efforts to stop infiltration as ‘amateur’, because Menzies himself appeared never to have considered the possibility of the enemy within. He once insisted, ‘Only people with foreign names commit treason.’

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