A convent that once housed exiled French general Charles de Gaulle during the war has been marketed for Â£ 15million.
Frognal House in Hampstead, North West London, is a Grade II listed property now on the market for the first time in over 50 years, as it has since been the residence of the Sisters of St Dorothy.
Former French President De Gaulle and his family lived there from 1942 to 1944, around the same time as he led the government of Free France in exile.
The main entrance to the house, with cast iron on the portal, balconies and roof, with greenery adorning the sides
An aerial view of the property, showing the student accommodation block on the left which offers 17 bedrooms, the garden and the rear view of the house
Exterior of the property from the rear shows the cast iron balconies of the first floor bedrooms
The mid-18th century house is in a desirable area of ââHampstead, north London, and could now become a private family home again.
Before de Gaulle’s arrival there, the property was an orphanage and a girls’ school after the Crimean War.
De Gaulle, a decorated World War I officer, fled to England in 1940 after refusing to accept his government’s armistice with Germany and encouraging the French to resist the occupation and continue to fight .
He first stayed in a friend’s apartment, then kept rooms at the Connaught Hotel while his family spent time in rural areas during the Blitz.
Once the Blitz was over, his family joined de Gaulle and settled in Frognal.
His wife Yvonne kept chickens in the garden so that they could have fresh eggs.
The property was converted into a finishing school and convent in 1968, but more recently it has been used for Sainte-DorothÃ©e Convent and student accommodation.
The Frognal House has many period features, including cast iron balconies, sash windows, wood paneling, marble fireplaces, and brown brick elevations.
Pictured is a chapel at Frognal House. More recently, the property housed the convent of the Sisters of Sainte-DorothÃ©e and student accommodation
A large staircase on the ground floor of the house leading down to a large reception hall
A longer view of the main reception hall of the house on the ground floor in the desirable Hampstead area of ââNorth West London
It has 13,147 square feet of accommodation in total and 31 astounding guest rooms.
The main part of the house has a large reception hall, a chapel, an office, a bathroom and three bedrooms on the ground floor.
There are eight bedrooms and three bathrooms on the first floor, and six bedrooms, three bathrooms and a library on the top floor.
But it doesn’t end there – Frognal House also has a three bedroom north wing and a purpose built large student accommodation block with 17 bedrooms, providing a large amount of additional accommodation if needed. .
The property sits on a 0.65 acre site and is within the Hampstead Conservation Area.
It is also a short walk from Hampstead High Street and is also marked with a plaque in tribute to the former president.
In the photo, a purpose-built student housing block has 17 bedrooms, providing a large amount of additional accommodation
The front of the property, pictured, a mid-18th century house in Hampstead could now revert to a private family home after being a convent for the past 50 years.
Emma Cleugh, Knight Frank Estate Agents, said: âThis is truly a unique opportunity to secure an incredibly rare property with a fascinating history.
âOffering close proximity to Hampstead Heath and the local Main Street, Frognal House will undoubtedly attract great attention from a range of interested parties. “
Sister Paula of the Sisters of Saint Dorothea added: “We have been incredibly happy here in our home for over 50 years and we will be sad to leave, but we look forward to joining our sisters in Rome for a new and exciting future.”
The ground floor plan, which includes a large reception room, a dining room, a kitchen, office spaces, a cellar and a chapel
The first and second floors of the property, housing a total of 34 rooms, including the student accommodation block
Floor plan showing the exterior of the property, with the main house and its left wing adjoining the student accommodation and the garden, occupying the remainder of the total 0.65 acres of land
Who was Charles de Gaulle and what was the French Resistance during World War II?
Charles de Gaulle was a French army officer who led Free France, a government in exile, against Nazi Germany during World War II.
He also chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946, when he lived at Frognal House in North West London, in order to restore democracy to his native France.
The French government at the time was known as the Fourth Republic and it began to collapse in the late 1950s, and de Gaulle helped form the country’s next and current government, the Fifth Republic of France. , and became its president in January 1959. He held this post for ten years.
De Gaulle pledged to help the country’s economic state maintain its independence and also campaigned for his country to continue its nuclear weapons program.
He died of a heart attack in 1970, just one year after his resignation.
Resistance in France began with the invasion of the Nazis in May 1940.
At first, the French people acted alone and helped Allied soldiers and prisoners escape the Germans. They would also hide the Jews to save them.
Charles de Gaulle, the former President of France who formed France’s current system of government, also led his country against Nazi Germany during World War II.
They wrote and printed leaflets criticizing the Nazis and distributed them secretly.
On June 18, 1940, Charles de Gaulle addressed the people of France from London and called on them to continue their fight against the Germans.
Four days later, on June 22, when France surrendered to Germany, the French people responded by organizing groups that collectively called themselves the French Resistance.
The resistance movement in France developed to provide intelligence to the Allies, attack the Germans when possible, and aid in the flight of Allied airmen.
At the end of 1942, de Gaulle became the head of the French Committee for National Liberation which led all resistance movements in France. This larger organization allowed the French Resistance to become more effective in its efforts in 1943.
The resistance movement dramatically increased its attacks on the French rail system, which significantly affected the ability of the German military to move material.
In 1944, it was estimated that there were 100,000 members of the French Resistance in France and that there were 60 intelligence cells whose task was to gather intelligence rather than commit acts of sabotage.
Before D-Day, the information gathered by the French Resistance was essential. By May 1944 alone, they had sent 3,000 written reports to the Allies and 700 wireless reports.
Members of the Resistance were tortured by the SS, many of them dead or sent to concentration camps.