The Country Homes of Ian Fleming

Article by Edward Biddulph

We tend to associate Ian Fleming with Goldeneye, his winter home in Jamaica, and London, where he spent much of his time, for instance at the Admiralty during the Second World War, at the Sunday Times afterwards, in his Mayfair clubs, or his own office in Mitre Court. Weekends, however, would invariably find him deep in the English countryside or on the coast, where he would travel to retreat from London’s high society or to play golf. In this article, we take a look at his homes in the country, and examine the impact that some of these would have on James Bond.

Braziers Park, Ipsden, Oxfordshire

Ian Fleming spent his earliest years at Braziers Park, a modest mansion near the village of Ipsden in south Oxfordshire. His parents, Valentine and Eve Fleming, bought the property in 1906 and lived there until 1914. Ian, born in 1908, would spend six years there. The house was built in the Jacobean style in 1688, but was transformed into a Gothic-style mock castle at the end of the 18th century. More building work was ordered by Valentine, who added a west wing, but retained the Gothic style. Architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner thought the house more sombre than elegant, though he admired its symmetry.