When Julia Riley ran her Somerset home as a B&B prior to the Covid pandemic a few guests booked in not for her Tripadvisor-recommended breakfast or a peaceful night’s sleep, but because of the Georgian property’s literary connection. Coxley House is the former home of David Cornwell, better known as the spy novelist John le Carré.
'We had one or two people coming because they were keen on him,' says Riley. 'They wanted to know which bedroom he slept in and things like that but, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure, so I invariably told them it was the one they were sleeping in because it was the easiest answer.'
Now, fans of the late author’s work can visit the Grade II-listed house with an estate agent: it is on the market with Strutt & Parker for £1.