A historic windmill in the English countryside that appeared alongside Dick Van Dyke and a magical flying car in the 1968 movie “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” has gone up for sale.
The black-and-white Cobstone Mill, in Buckinghamshire, England, just outside London, is part of a property that also includes a main house, about 37 acres of land and a swimming pool. It could be yours for 9 million pounds (about $11.4 million).
The mill is thought to have been built around 1816 and was used to grind cereal until 1873, according to Savills, the real estate firm selling the property. Before the windmill could be used as a movie location it needed substantial renovations. The property had been damaged by a fire and, according to local media reports at the time, squatters had been living in it.
In the film, which was loosely based on a children’s book by the James Bond creator Ian Fleming, the windmill served as the home for Mr. Van Dyke’s character, a nutty, widowed inventor named Caractacus Potts, who lives with his children, Jeremy and Jemima. Together with his love interest, Truly Scrumptious, played by Sally Ann Howes, and his car, named Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for its distinctive engine sounds, they journey to the land of Vulgaria to battle the tyrant Baron Bomburst.
But the windmill’s film industry connections didn’t end there.
In the early 1970s, the actress Hayley Mills owned the property after her husband, Roy Boulting, a film director, bought it at auction for about $35,000, Ms. Mills said in a phone interview.
When she heard about the asking price, she said she “nearly fell off my chair.” Ms. Mills said she remembered visiting the property with her young son and having picnics on the hill, enjoying what she called one of the best views in England. “I thought it was a lot of money then,” she said.
In her 2021 memoir “Forever Young,” Ms. Mills wrote that she recognized the property immediately as the home in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”
“It was love at first sight,” she wrote, envisioning herself and her husband watching their child play in the afternoon sun, even though the property was “utterly impractical.”
Ms. Mills never lived in the property, because her marriage ended before the renovations were completed, she said. In the end, the couple owned it for about a year.
Stepping inside the windmill in the 1970s was a special experience, too, according to Ms. Mills, because it was still a working windmill with its parts in tact.
The property was later owned by David Brown, an English industrialist and a former owner of the automaker Aston Martin. In the 1980s, the property was sold to the current owner, according to Stephen Christie-Miller, one of the realtors on the listing.
“It’s such a landmark when you drive through the valley,” Mr. Christie-Miller said, “It dominates.”
The windmill is a Grade II-listed building, which means it’s considered of national importance and is legally protected from being demolished or significantly altered without special permission.
Though the price tag is steep, there has been interest in the property, Mr. Christie-Miller said, especially for the usually slow month of August during which many prospective buyers are on vacation.
“So many people know it,” he said, adding that he was planning to show the windmill to two potential buyers on Wednesday and had already showed it to one couple who were, he said, “very keen.”
Since peaking in August last year, house prices in Britain have begun to drop. Last month, prices fell 3.8 percent compared with a year earlier, according to Nationwide Building Society, the steepest annual drop in more than a decade.
Between the windmill and the house, the property has six bedrooms and four bathrooms, according to the listing. The windmill’s sails were restored in the past 18 months, according to Savills.
With views over the nearby countryside, “the windmill itself would be a lovely place to have an office,” Mr. Christie-Miller said, but added, “not that you’d get any work done.”
It’s not just “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” fans who might be excited. The windmill looks over the village of Turville, where scenes from the 1990s English sitcom “Vicar of Dibley” were filmed.
Mr. Christie-Miller said the listing stands out in his 40-year career. “It comes up once in a generation,” he said.
Ms. Mills, the actress and former owner, also emphasized how special the property was.
“It’s completely unique,” she said. “It’s hard to put a price on something that unique.”