Home   News   Article

New Forest retreat of Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on market for just under £3-million





The former New Forest retreat of Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has come on the market for just under £3-million.

Bignell Wood, a sprawling rural mansion just outside of Cadnam, was owned by Sir Arthur until his death in 1930, and was a birthday present for his wife Jean.

Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534285)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534285)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534276)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534276)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534076)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534076)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534220)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534220)

Sir Arthur is buried in nearby Minstead, which also featured in his 1891 historical series set in the 14th century, the White Company.

The main house includes seven bedrooms and five bathrooms, with drawing, sitting, dining, media, music and hobby rooms.

Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534051)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534051)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534035)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534035)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534058)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534058)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534064)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534064)

When Sir Arthur bought the property it comprised a Saxon barn and two cottages. He worked with a local architect to design and construct the country house seen today.

There is also a recently renovated cottage within the six-acre grounds, three stables, two paddocks, a stream, parking area, gardeners' store, greenhouse, garage and workshop.

Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534208)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534208)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534148)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534148)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534017)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534017)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534239)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534239)

The current owner, interior designer Jane McIntyre of Jane McIntyre Design, bought Bignell Wood in 2006 and has restyled the interior.

She said: “We haven’t had to do much, really. It is a beautifully built house.

Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534180)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534180)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534133)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534133)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534162)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534162)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60533984)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60533984)

"It still has all three of the original beautiful stone fireplaces that Sir Arthur put in. We renovated the parquet floors and we ripped out the very modern kitchen and bathrooms, reinstating an Arts & Crafts style more in keeping with that period, including a handmade solid wood kitchen with Aga, and claw foot bath tub and panelling in the master bathroom.”

Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534033)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534033)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534037)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534037)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60533988)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60533988)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534255)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534255)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534022)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534022)

Jane said her approach to decorating Bignell Wood was “traditional with a twist”.

She added: “I don’t think you should ever simply impose your own style on somewhere. It is really important that you always consider the provenance of a place.

Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534253)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534253)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534020)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534020)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534031)
Bignell Wood, former retreat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, near Cadnam in the New Forest (60534031)

"Sir Arthur is known for his Gothic suspense crime fiction and historical adventures, and so I have decorated the house with very rich, dark colours as a bit of a nod towards Gothic drama!”

Sir Arthur’s study was in what is now the red drawing room. “There is a little corner bay where we like to think his desk was," said Jane.

Arthur Conan Doyle (60473073)
Arthur Conan Doyle (60473073)

"We were told by one of his descendants who visited that this was where he used to write.”

This drawing room with music room above was once the original Saxon barn, although much altered by Sir Arthur and completely incorporated into the home.

The author continues to have a presence in the house, requesting his signed photograph to remain inside.

“So we have it, and it is up on the wall,” Jane said.

“It has obviously been a very much loved house. There is a really warm, friendly feeling. Everybody who ever comes in absolutely loves it. There is nothing like it in the New Forest.

"It is in a bit of a time warp because we have kept the original layout, which is very cosy, yet you still have these gorgeous entertaining spaces with the big drawing room and the reception hall.”

The house is on the market with Spencers of New Forest for £2,950,000. Visit: spencersnewforest.com/property-sales/brook-lyndhurst-25409136-4/



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More