The Murder on the Orient Express author penned many of her classic novels at the historic home in Oxfordshire, England

By Phil Boucher
April 21, 2021 01:40 PM
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Oxfordshire home of acclaimed crime novelist Dame Agatha Christie comes onto the market with Savills Henley
Credit: Savills; Inset: Walter Bird/Getty

The former home of legendary crime writer Agatha Christie, where she wrote many of her classic novels, has hit the market for $3.8 million.

Located in the sleepy market town of Wallingford, Oxfordshire, U.K. (around 50 miles west of London) the historic five-bedroom house covers 6,256 square feet and comes with five acres of land, an adjoining one-bedroom cottage, and landscaped gardens leading down to the River Thames.

More crucially, it also offers an opportunity to own a genuine piece of literary — and movie — history, as it was at Winterbrook House that Christie created whodunits involving such legendary detectives as Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple after she moved into the home with her husband Archie in 1924.

Oxfordshire home of acclaimed crime novelist Dame Agatha Christie comes onto the market with Savills Henley
Agatha Christie's home in Oxfordshire
| Credit: Savills
Oxfordshire home of acclaimed crime novelist Dame Agatha Christie comes onto the market with Savills Henley
Credit: Savills

Christie, whose books are estimated to have sold in excess of 2 billion copies, lived at the property until her death in 1976 and is buried in the nearby churchyard of St Mary's, Cholsey.

"She wrote some of her bestselling novels in the house and Winterbrook itself is thought to have been the model for Danemead, Miss Marple's house in the village of St Mary Mead," says listing agent Stephen Christie-Miller of Savills Henley.

"The property is arranged over three floors with well-proportioned rooms, high ceilings and large windows that provide plenty of natural light" he adds. "Many period features have also been retained creating a stunning family home full of immense character and charm."

Oxfordshire home of acclaimed crime novelist Dame Agatha Christie comes onto the market with Savills Henley
Credit: Savills
Oxfordshire home of acclaimed crime novelist Dame Agatha Christie comes onto the market with Savills Henley
Credit: Savills

Fittingly for the former home of a prolific writer, the house includes an elegant study, library, and drawing-room, all with dual aspect windows (but thankfully no murder victims).

It was here that Christie wrote many of her 66 detective novels, including Murder On the Orient Express and Death on the Nile, both of which have been turned into multiple movies, with a new Kenneth Branagh-directed version of Death on the Nile scheduled for release in 2022, starring Gal Gadot and Annette Bening.

Christie's last ever public appearance was also at the opening night of the 1974 movie version of Murder on the Orient Express starring Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot alongside Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, and Sean Connery.

Oxfordshire home of acclaimed crime novelist Dame Agatha Christie comes onto the market with Savills Henley
Credit: Savills
murder-orient-secondary.jpg
Murder on the Orient Express

"Her verdict: a good adaptation with the minor point that Poirot's mustaches weren't luxurious enough," says Christie's official website (something that Branagh has since done his best to put right).

For the past 20 years, Christie's former house, which has the main bedroom overlooking the gardens and river, has been home to Gregor Kleinknecht, Karen Holterman, and their two sons.

"It's been a privilege to live somewhere that has such a special place in the hearts of so many," Kleinknecht says of the home in a Savill's release. "We weren't aware of the Agatha Christie connection when we first saw the house, we only found out later on.

"Most importantly it has been a wonderful family home. It has been a very happy place for Agatha Christie and so it has been for our family and we will, of course, be sad to leave. We have enjoyed our time here immensely.  However, the time has to come to pass it on to someone new."

Probably best to view it with a friend though, just in case...