Thatched Great Barford cottage once owned by romance novelist Dame Barbara Cartland goes on market for £1million

Even the front door is pink

By Clare Turner
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 12:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 12:31 pm

If you’re a fan of romance novels and the colour pink, boy, have we got the house for you.

OK, you will need a spare £1 million but just imagine owning the former home of renowned romance novelist, Dame Barbara Cartland.

Not only is River Cottage in Great Barford on the market (at that eye-watering price we just mentioned) but it’s also to be awarded a classic heritage ‘blue plaque’ to acknowledge her contribution to literature as well as the fact she lived there.

River Cottage, Great Barford, is on the market with Lane & Holmes, Bedford

It was home to Barbara Cartland from 1941 to 1949 and held fond memories for her children; Ian McCorquodale, Glen McCorquodale and Countess Raine Spencer – stepmother to Diana, Princess of Wales.

Even in a letter to the Old Barfordian Association dated February 25, 2018, Barbara’s Ian son, wrote: “Indeed I do remember the very happy times we spent as a family at River Cottage and how sad we were to leave our lovely home. I loved Great Barford and so did my mother.”

Although it’s many years since Barbara lived in the house, it has been sympathetically decorated with certain nods to the ‘Queen of Romance’ everywhere.

Among them is a bedroom decorated in Barbara’s favoured pink, in homage to her.

In January 1988 Dame Barbara Cartland received the Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris, the highest honour of the city of Paris, for publishing 25 million books in France

There’s also pink planting in the garden and three external doors painted in shocking pink, to allude to her former presence in the house.

This charming chocolate-box cottage features four bedrooms, two reception rooms, two bathrooms, a private mooring and an annexe.

Many of Dame Barbara’s romance novels were made into films for television, such as Duel of Hearts and Hazard of Hearts.

Dame Barbara Cartland’s bedroom decorated in her beloved shades of pink

Translated worldwide, it is believed that over a billion copies of her works have sold around the globe, making her the third best-selling fiction writer in history, after Agatha Christie and Shakespeare.

She reportedly sold more than 750 million copies of her books and entered the Guinness Book of World records for the most books written in a single year.

In January 1988 she received the Médaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris, the highest honour of the city of Paris, for publishing 25 million books in France.

In 1991 she was invested by Queen Elizabeth II as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in honour of the author's almost 70 years of literary, political, and social contributions.

The garden at River Cottage enjoyed so much by Dame Barbara Cartland’s children

A waxwork of Cartland was put on display at Madame Tussauds, though according to her son Ian, she was displeased because it was not “pretty enough".

Dame Barbara Cartland was also a clever businesswoman who was head of Cartland Promotions. She became one of London's most prominent society figures.

Often dressed in a pink chiffon gown, a plumed hat, blonde wig, and heavy make-up, she became one of Britain's most popular media personalities.

The charming private mooring at River Cottage
River Cottage, in Great Barford
One of the bathrooms
The conservatory
The living room
The house is going to be awarded a classic heritage ‘blue plaque'