Lavenham: Harry Potter House could be yours for £950,000
PUBLISHED: 10:30 29 August 2012
IT has graced the screen as the place of Harry Potter’s birth, is thought to have hosted King Henry VII and even held a prince and princess captive.
And it could be yours for a cool £950,000.
Grade I Listed, De Vere House, in Water Street, Lavenham, which comes complete with original beams and even secret doors, is now on the market.
Its owner, Jane Ranzetta, said she wants to downsize from the six bedroom property, to allow another family to add their layer of history to the 14th Century home.
“We have been here for 22 or 23 years and it feels like the time has come for us to leave. I never think you own a house like this, you are just custodians and that is an honour.”
Mrs Ranzetta, a private tutor who lives with her husband Tony and 15-year-old son Alex, said she had first encountered the historic home visiting Lavenham on a day trip.
She added: “We had seen the house several times and taken photos and thought ‘What a lovely house’ but also thought that it would never come on to the market.
“A few months later we were looking for a property and we were sent details of De Vere House. It sounds clichéd but we knew we wanted it as soon as we walked through the door.”
The couple have spent the last two decades restoring the house and gardens, uncovering ornate carvings and mediaeval paintings along the way.
The legends of De Vere House
King Henry VII visited De Vere House when visiting Lavenham in 1498.
The king definitely visited Lavenham during 1498 for a day’s hunting and it is quite possible that De Vere House was used to house the many guests of the king and the 13th Earl of Oxford.
The sister and youngest brother of Charles II and James II were held under house arrest in De Vere House during 1651. For a short period of time between 1649 and 1660, the young princes and princesses were placed under the custody of Mary de Vere, the wife of Lord Fairfax.
The records show that Lady Fairfax soon tired of the children and handed them back, but do not state where they were held in custody.
“We also found invocation marks in the attics which were put there as a way of saying to evil spirits, telling them ‘Keep out this is a Christian house’.
Considering the house’s historic battle against dark forces, it seems only natural that its distinctive herring-bone frontage should take pride of place in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Mrs Ranzetta said guests who stay in the two bedroom annex, often watch clips of the film while staying.
“It’s part of Godric’s Hollow. The house can be seen opposite the graveyard, with a Christmas tree in the window, the lights on and music coming out of it,” she added.
But Mrs Ranzetta said the house’s real magic comes from being full of people.
“It’s like a living thing, the wood moves and breathes in the summer and winter and it comes alive when it’s full, I think it enjoys entertaining.”
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