Country houses for sale

A picturesque Chilterns cottage that was once home to a real-life Sleeping Beauty

A filming location for Goodnight Mister Tom, the delightful Sleepy Cottage previously counted the Sleeping Girl of Turville among its residents. Annunciata Elwes takes a look.

For sale through Savills at an asking price of £750,000</a., this is exactly the sort of character cottage to tempt Londoners out of the Big Smoke. It sits in the coveted Chiltern Hills village of Turville, in Buckinghamshire — filming location for The Vicar of Dibley — and is even called Sleepy Cottage.

Sleepy Cottage

The 1,101sq-ft Sleepy Cottage has three bedrooms in all, a panoramic dining room that looks out over the village green and a sitting room with brick fireplace and log burner, plus a manageable garden and greenhouse.

Sleepy Cottage

The principal bedroom, with vaulted ceiling and exposed timber beams, overlooks the village green, church and Cobstone Windmill, which featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Sleepy Cottage

Sleepy Cottage.

The sense of deja-vu is enhanced by the village’s further appearance in Midsomer Murders, I Capture the Castle, Marple and Killing Eve, among others; Goodnight Mister Tom was actually filmed at Sleepy Cottage.

Further acclaim comes from the house’s association with Ellen Sadler, the famous ‘Sleeping Girl of Turville’, who lived in the cottage in 1871, when, aged 11, she fell into a deep sleep and didn’t wake up for nine years.

This was a media sensation, from which her family (slightly suspiciously) profited; elder Turville residents even talk of a visit from the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), who laid his hands on her in an attempt to cure her.

Whether or not this happened, Ellen woke up shortly after her mother’s death in 1880, got married and, well-rested, proceeded to have at least five children.

Sleepy Cottage is for sale at £750,000 via Savills — see more pictures or enquire with the agent for further details.

Turville: What you need to know

  • Location: Turville is less than 9 miles from Henley-on-Thames
  • Atmosphere: Turville is so pretty that it has starred in many feature films. It has a lovely, half-timbered pub, a delightfulchurch that was the setting for the Vicar of Dibley and a heath.
  • Things to do: Plenty of opportunities are available locally, from golf courses at Henley-onThames, Temple and Huntercombe to racing at Ascot, Windsor, Newbury and Kempton and boating on the River Thames
  • Schools: Ibstone CofE Primary School, Cadmore End CofE School, Frieth Church of England Combined School are all rated good by Ofsted and Buckinghamshire has a number of well-regarded grammar schools
  • Find more properties in the area.