HOUSES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS: Tickerage Mill near Uckfield in East Sussex, England, was once owned by actress Vivien Leigh – where she lived after her traumatic 1960 divorce from Laurence Olivier and for which she paid 20,000 pounds in 1961 – is now for sale…
Vivian Mary Hartley, later known as Vivien Leigh, Lady Olivier
(5 November 1913 – 8 July 1967)
The property of Tickerage Mill includes a main house, mill cottage, studio and gardener’s cottage, is located in Tickerage Lane, Tickerage Mill, Blackboys, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 5LU, in the United Kingdom, in southern England:
About the property
The 74-acre estate is the site a mill from the early 17th century, with a main house, two other dwellings, and additional buildings and grounds.
Apparently, the property was originally once an iron mill, with tall chimneys and heavily wooded surroundings being an indication of the iron industry that the area was once associated with.
As well as the Grade II-listed main house, there is a mill with studio, a 1-bedroom gardener’s cottage, a 2-bedroom Grade II stone-built Mill cottage, mill pond, paved terrace, formal walled garden, water meadow, lawns, established trees, shrubs and flower beds, paddocks, and extensive woodland filled with bluebells.
Tickerage Mill pictured on the front of a Christmas card sent out by Vivien Leigh
The main house includes:
- Private drive
- Entrance hall with original oak front door, cloakroom and boot room
- 4 reception rooms including a drawing room, sitting room with inglenook fireplace, and dining hall with carved marble fireplace
- Kitchen with two-oven oil-fired Aga and breakfast room, and family room with with arched oriel windows overlooking the lake and garden
- Study and flower room
- The master bedroom includes a marble fireplace with Delft tile insert which was shipped back from Venice by Vivien Leigh, as well as an ensuite and private terrace
- A guest suite with walk-in cupboard and en suite bathroom, and 3 further bedrooms
- 4 bathrooms
- French doors to the terrace
- Cellar with laundry
Previously, Vivien Leigh had shared a home in London with husband Laurence Olivier (they were married from 1940-1960) as well as Notley Abbey in Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire. They had purchased the remains of the Abbey in 1944, after their home was destroyed by a wartime bombing raid.
Since moving into her own, post-divorce, Sussex property in 1961, Vivien Leigh – a keen gardener and hostess, and famous for many stage and screen roles including Gone With the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire – entertained many famous guests including:
- Princess Margaret
- Sir John Gielgud
- Sir Winston Churchill
- Sir Robert Helpmann, who designed the walled garden.
She still had the home in London – number 54 Eaton Square – and shared the last few years of her life with Canadian actor, John Merivale, who took care of her during her bouts with mental illness.
The ashes of Vivien Leigh were scattered over the pond following her death in 1967.
Aged just 53, she had succumbed to tuberculosis after falling ill during rehearsals for Edward Albee’s play, A Delicate Balance, in London’s West End.
The house was refurbished by the current owners, Ken and Honor Hoggins, who bought the property in 2005, so not all photos in our photo gallery will be accurate to how the house stands today (see below).
It is now expected to sell for around £3.5 million.
Previous owners of Tickerage Mill:
- Richard Wyndham (1896-1948), an artist, who bought the property in the 1920s, and added what is now the kitchen as his artist’s studio with a large oriel window overlooking the mill pond
- Major Sir Ronald Armstrong Jones (1899–1966), father of Lord Snowdon who married Princess Margaret
- Kenneth Letts, the manufacturer of Letts Diaries from Letts of London
Scroll through this gallery for more images:
Vivien Leigh in 1958
You might also like our Gone with the Wind gallery and Lady Hamilton and Lord Nelson: That Hamilton Woman gallery, which includes photos of both Leigh and Olivier.
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