Boycie’s home after Only Fools and Horses goes on sale for £1.5 million

The abbey dates back to the 12th-century
The abbey dates back to the 12th-century (Image credit: Mark Wiggin Estate Agents)

The breathtaking mansion where Only Fools and Horses actor John Challis both lived and filmed a spin-off sitcom is on sale for £1.5 million.

Wigmore Abbey, in Adforton, Herefordshire, was bought by the beloved actor, who played dodgy car dealer Boycie, and his wife Carol and used as a location for four series of The Green Green Grass.

He bought the former monastery in 1998 and then spent more than 20 years renovating the property and grounds. He died from cancer in September 2021.

And if you’re inspired by the couple’s incredible work and are thinking of tackling your own project, check out our guide on renovating a house.

Boycie's countryside retreat after Peckham

The abbey was used as the set for the Only Fools and Horses spin-off The Green Green Grass, which sees Boycie forced to flee Peckham for the countryside after falling foul of a local gangster.

In an interview with One Magazine, Challis said: “One day the location manager came round and said he thought they’d found the ideal ‘spooky old grange’ and how did we feel about Wigmore being the star of the show.

“What a piece of luck, a location fee as well and only a short trip down the lane each morning to base for make-up and costume.”

John Challis as Boycie with his on screen wife in front of a yellow three wheel car

John Challis as Boycie with his on screen wife Marlene played by Sue Holderness (Image credit: Getty)

Built in the ruins of an ancient monument

Among the many fascinating features of this historic house is an alcove leading to a tunnel that used to connect directly to Wigmore Castle, which is now a ruin.

Wigmore Abbey was founded in the 12th Century by Augustinian Canons, who wore black habits, were allowed to have beards, and were known as the ‘Black Canons’.

The Abbey was destroyed by the Welsh in 1221 and the ruin, which is listed as an Ancient Monument, can still be seen on the grounds.

It was almost completely rebuilt in the late 14th Century from which much of the present building dates.

A large stone ancient ruin with shrubbery around it

The ruins of the original abbey (Image credit: Mark Wiggin Estate Agents)

Historic interior hailed as 'truly fascinating'

According to the property listing from Mark Wiggin Estate Agents the property boasts a “tremendous display of original period and character features throughout including the refectory, being one of only two timber-rooted undercrofts in the country.”

The ground floor accommodation comprises a spacious reception hall with exposed stonework and fine oak panelling, the kitchen, a utility room, and a larder.

The sitting room boasts a “magnificent” ornate stone fireplace housing a wood-burning stove. The drawing room has a fireplace. The 14th-century wing offers the exceptional Refectory and Cellarers Room.

A large orange room with timber beams in a pitched ceiling and stone fireplace

The large stone fireplace in the sitting room with timber beams  above (Image credit: Mark Wiggin Estate Agents)

14th-century wing with ancient stone walls

The refectory has exposed stonework while the eastern wall is about 4ft thick and thought to be part of the original 12th Century building.

There are five timber posts running down the centre, a 14th Century stone fireplace, and a stone-flagged floor.

A wooden staircase with oak panelling on the walls and a large red carpet on the floor

Floor to ceiling oak panelling in the hallway with a sweeping timber staircase (Image credit: Mark Wiggin Estate Agents)

Stone mullioned window with leaded glass

The property has leaded lights – decorative windows made of small sections of glass supported in lead cames – and stone-mullioned windows.

The first floor hosts the Abbots Parlour, which has extensive exposed beams and full roof height to trusses and a large stone chimney with an open fireplace, as well as three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

On the second floor there are a further four bedrooms, two of which are en-suite.

A double bed in a room with timber beams and green walls

The main house has six bedrooms (Image credit: Mark Wiggin Estate Agents)

Landscaped gardens with views of an ancient forest

The gardens and grounds at Wigmore Abbey extend to around 5.29 acres in total. The immediate gardens are formally landscaped and have herbaceous borders and shrubbery.

There are some mature trees interspersed throughout the grounds. Situated in the garden is a “discreet but charming” Grade II Summer House.

The surrounding countryside provides panoramic views including the nearby Mortimer Forest. There are also paddocks within the grounds.

The home is currently listed for sale for £1.5 million with Mark Wiggin Estate Agents.

Lawned gardens with stone pathways

The immediate gardens are formally landscaped and have herbaceous borders and shrubbery (Image credit: Mark Wiggin Estate Agents)
Sam Webb

Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world.  As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.