Shady Ideas

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This amazing Treasure Island-inspired home once owned by a Lad’s Mag owner could be yours for a cool £4 million.

Former publisher Felix Dennis died from cancer in June 2014 aged 67 having made a fortune through Dennis Publishing, the magazine stable behind Maxim.

This success allowed him to build his modern 21st century home, called Highfield.

At the time of its construction, the spacious property in Dorsington was the biggest barn to be built of green oak for 300 years.

Described by an estate agent as a “truly remarkable” home, Highfield is three properties rolled into one.

It is also located in Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace and home of William Shakespeare.

Spread over 12,000 sq ft the finest materials – such as Verona Italian marble and Lincoln sandstone – have been used to create an “architectural adventure”.

Throughout the property there are reminders of Felix’s love of Treasure Island, the classic novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, with many characters used for architectural and ornamental features.

These include hand-crafted mosaic designs in the property’s swimming pool and a clay mythical dragon on the main ridge and the exquisite shell panels that adorn the walls.

The lavish property is on sale on Rightmove.

The swimming pool has an ozone system which sanitises the water and replaces the need for chlorine.

It is surrounded by palm trees which are cleverly part of the air conditioning retraction system.

Odours are sucked into the palm trees and pass underground and out of the house via the wooden roofed building on the terrace.

A balcony on the first floor gives an almost alpine feel with fresh pastoral views.

Film lovers can enjoy watching their favourite movies in the authentic Art Deco inspired cinema in the basement.

If you feel thirsty while enjoying a film you don’t have to go too far as there is also a bar and entertainment area in the basement.

An impressive ‘plant room’ is also in the basement along with the controls for Highfield including high tech equipment for all of the major services – electrics, heating, filtration, lighting, security, telephone and air handling system.

The property also boasts an underground carpark in the basement with an electric turntable to make a driver’s entry or exit easier.

The ‘north wing’ houses the bedroom, bathroom, changing area, solarium, sauna, steam room and laundry room.

The south side is where the kitchen, dining room, study and and open gallery are situated.

Outside the pathways and terraces are made from a mixture of Ancaster stone, African slate and blue and buff Lincolnshire limestone.

The property will also appeal to horse lovers as a large permanent pasture paddock is in the grounds, while there is private and direct access to the Heart of England Forest.

The forest covers 7,000 acres of ancient and new woodland with 1.8 million new trees planted in recent years.

The new owner will no longer have to stumble around for a torch if there is a power cut as the property has a full-sized generator which activates within three to five seconds.

There are also two boilers which work in tandem to ensure neither is under strain.

Also included in the sale are two semi-detached thatched estate cottages in the grounds which were were extensively refurbished, modernised and embellished in 1992.

Named Old Manor Lodge Cottages, each boast bespoke kitchens, handcrafted conservatories, high quality shower rooms and living accommodation.

Both have an entrance porch, entrance hall, sitting room, conservatory, kitchen/dining room, landing, two double bedrooms and shower room.

Before his death Felix divided his time between other homes he owned in London, New York, Connecticut and the Caribbean island of Mustique.

He claimed to have become rich by “accident” and listed his other interests as “planting trees, commissioning bronze sculpture, drinking French wine and avoiding business meetings”.