Relive the golden age of cinema with this film star’s 1960s Suffolk home

PUBLISHED: 08:30 31 July 2020

Film star Ann Todd loved this Walberswick house which she made her home in the 1960s. Photo: Durrants

Film star Ann Todd loved this Walberswick house which she made her home in the 1960s. Photo: Durrants

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The Walberswick retreat of British film star Ann Todd is on the market, a time-capsule of the swinging sixties with its own cinema room

Ann Todd in a photo that Durrants estate agent Dominic Parravini says was at her former property in Walberswick. Photo: supplied by DurrantsAnn Todd in a photo that Durrants estate agent Dominic Parravini says was at her former property in Walberswick. Photo: supplied by Durrants

Chance meetings with celebrities are nothing new in Walberswick. Several have chosen the picturesque Suffolk coastal village for their ideal bolthole, a tradition that stretches back through the decades.

In the 1960s, Walberswick was the spiritual seaside refuge for Ann Todd, film star, producer, and one-time wife of legendary director David Lean. She bought the old village shop and transformed it into Sea Green Cottage, which is now being sold through Durrants Estate Agents.

Ann Todd’s Suffolk home became a magnet for her London friends who would travel up for the weekend. She would regularly entertain them by showing films in her basement which she named The Green Room – the original sign above the entrance to the room is still there.

Locals were dazzled by Ann, who was considered one of the great beauties of her generation. She turned a large roof terrace into a private suntrap where she could sunbathe naked and was quoted as saying: “I feel utter joy and fulfilment at home when stretched out under a scorching sun.” One of her former neighbours, who still lives in the village, when questioned as to how they knew of Ann’s sunbathing activities on the roof, replied: “We used to climb to the top of the slide on the green, just opposite her house, to see her!”

Film star Ann Todd's 1960s home in Walberswick is for sale with Durrants estate agents. Photo: DurrantsFilm star Ann Todd's 1960s home in Walberswick is for sale with Durrants estate agents. Photo: Durrants

Discover this pretty Southwold townhouse that’s perfect for enjoying the seaside

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The entrance to The Green Room, where film star Ann Todd loved to show films to her weekend guests. Photo: DurrantsThe entrance to The Green Room, where film star Ann Todd loved to show films to her weekend guests. Photo: Durrants

Ann Todd had roles in dozens of films and found true fame when she played a suicidal concert pianist in The Seventh Veil (1945) opposite James Mason. She was a major star but she guarded her Suffolk privacy so closely that she didn’t name Walberswick in her autobiography, instead describing “. . . a fishing village and without doubt the most wonderful spot on earth. Of all the beaches I have walked on in my travels nothing comes up to our beach. I feel anything could happen here, however strange. When I am on the beach, I sometimes feel that I float into another world.”

Sea Green Cottage, in its much sought after location overlooking The Green in Walberswick, remains exactly as Ann Todd left it – a perfect time capsule of early 1960s décor. The roof terrace is still a wonderful focal point and the house is a perfect place to enjoy everything Walberswick and nearby Southwold have to offer.

This much-loved home is now looking for a new owner with a vision to transform it into something really special. . . or alternatively a movie buff wanting to relive a golden era in British cinema and even reopen The Green Room.

For further information and to arrange a viewing of Sea Green Cottage, contact Durrants Estate Agents in Southwold on 01502 723292 or email southwold@durrants.com.

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