laurence olivier lists london the oliviers travel vivien leigh

10 Leigh/Olivier Destinations in England — #3 & #2

Tickaerage Mill
East Sussex
Nearest train station: Uckfield (catch from Victoria)

Tickerage Mill in Sussex was Vivien Leigh’s last country home.  Purchased after her divorce from Laurence Olivier, she used the Queen Anne style home as a peaceful retreat away from her busy London life.  Actor Dirk Bogarde claims to have been the one to introduce Tickerage to Vivien:

When Vivien had left Notley she once came down to my house, and felt utterly sad because she no longer had a garden…she adored mine, which was rather marvelous. Suddenly she said: “I want a little house…with a view like this, but by water…on a lake or a stream…and with trees…” and I had seen the exact house three days before. I told her, and she was off in a flash and found it to be the very place of her idea…that’s how she got Tickerage Mill. I had wanted it very much for myself, but it was a bit too far from town, I thought, and too small for me. Viv was instantly at home there.

Unlike the other homes on this list, Tickaerage Mill solely encompassed Vivien’s feminine style. After she died in 1967, her ashes were scattered on the mill pond behind the house; a fitting resting place for someone who adored being near the tranquility of water.

Durham Cottage
4 Christchurch Street
Nearest tube stop: Sloane Square

Durham Cottage was purchased by Laurence Olivier in as a love nest for himself and Vivien Leigh when they decided to leave their respective spouses for one another in 1937.  Nestled in between brownstone near the Royal Hospital, Durham Cottage’s white brick with sky blue trim is hard to miss.  Though it was bombed during the Blitz, Larry and Vivien restored it after the war and used it as their London base for nearly 20 years.

If you’re lucky, you might just catch someone going in the gate who will let you step inside and take some photos 😉

Kendra has been the weblady at since 2007. She lives in Yorkshire and is the author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait, and co-author of Ava Gardner: A Life in Movies (Running Press). Follow her on Twitter @kendrajbean, Instagram at @vivandlarrygram, or at her official website.

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Comments (5)

  1. i adored vivien. we corresponded for 12 years and i was lucky to meet her when she visited chile. she played here the lady of the camellias , twelfe night and some excerts from shakespeare. it ws a smashing success. i do not like mr. olivier i thinck he was a bastard.

  2. I live close to Durham Cottage the home of Vivienne Leigh and Lawrence Olivier for twenty years. It is empty and derelict. Looks to me that some developer is allowing it to rundown so that it can be demolished and developed. Who is going to save Durham Cottage?
    4 may 2014.

    1. Hi Ted, many thanks for the comment.

      I’ve walked past Durham Cottage several times and noticed the same thing. Last I heard, the man who bought the house from the Oliviers in 1956 still lived there, but that he has Alzheimer’s. That was a few years ago, so I’m not sure that he’s still alive. It’s a shame it’s going o wreck and ruin. Have you noticed any for sale signs around the place?

      1. Hi

        I read recently that the property is for sale, Tickerage was also up for sale recently although I’m not sure if it has been sold. Sadly I couldn’t afford either property!
        I visited Topsham Museum recently. Staff there told me that Vivien’s daughter Suzanne visited last year and provided some items for a display they were putting on to mark the centenary of Vivien’s birth, unfortunately it had ended and the temporary exhibits were gone but I was still able to see their permanent display. It was interesting reading about the history of the Holman family and also to visit a place that Vivien herself had been to.

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