In Hampstead, the leafy north London enclave popular with celebrities and the wealthy alike, the one-time home of the wartime French president Charles de Gaulle has come to the market.
Asking £15 million (US$20.6 million), Frognal House was the home of the political reformer and general and his family in the 1940s after France’s fall to Nazi Germany. His wife, Yvonne de Gaulle, reportedly kept chickens in the home’s garden so that her youngest daughter could have fresh eggs.
When the mid-18th-century property hit the market last week it marked the first time the spread has been available in more than 50 years, according to Bargets Estate Agents, which shares the listing with Knight Frank.
Nestled in the Hampstead Conservation Area, the property has been the longtime home of the Sisters of St. Dorothy, who provide accommodation to international students studying in London.
It’s not clear exactly when the Sisters of St. Dorothy acquired Frognal House, or how much was paid in the deal.
The convent, which has been expanded over time and now totals more than 13,000 square feet, has the potential to be redeveloped back into a sprawling private family home, according to the brokerage.
Despite its newer additions, the property is still full of period character, including sash windows, cast-iron balconies and cornicing. There are also marble inset fireplaces, wood paneling and a chapel, the listing said.
“We have been blessed with this incredibly unique opportunity,” Robert Hershkorn, associate director at Bargets, said in a statement. With “close proximity to Hampstead Heath and the local high street, Frognal House will undoubtedly attract a high amount of attention from a range of interested parties.”