THE former Irish bolthole of Scots actor Sir Sean Connery has been put on the market for £1.4 million.
The former James Bond star bought Victorian pile Violet Hill House near Bray, County Wicklow, in the 1970s after falling in love with the property while visiting the area.
Connery used the grand mansion as a retreat from the pressures of the global stardom he achieved from his role as the suave super spy.
The six-bedroomed property is a far cry from the two room tenement flat in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, where Connery grew up.
Reached up a rambling, tree-lined avenue the house features a large marble pillared entrance hallway and sweeping staircase.
It is set in three-and-a-half acres of grounds rich which include flower gardens, mature trees and a tennis court.
There is also a semi-separate, one-bedroomed staff flat with galley kitchen.
Connery, 83, owned the house between 1975 and 1979 during which time he filmed The First Great Train Robbery with Donald Sutherland and Lesley-Anne Down at nearby Ardmore Studios.
It is being sold for Pounds 1.4 million by County Meath-based firm Matthews Auctioneers who have advertised the property as ‘007’s Secret Irish Retreat’.
The house’s current owners, a German family, are also auctioning off all of its contents.
Selling agent Damien Matthews said: “The house was the residence of the famous actor Sir Sean Connery during the mid 1970s.
“The imposing marble pillared entrance hallway, high ceilings throughout and generous interior proportions allowed entertaining on a grand scale.
“Connery expressed his fondness for Ireland throughout his career and in 1978 starred in a film made here titled The First Great Train Robbery.
“The property possesses immense character with great privacy.
“Violet Hill House would make an exceptional family home or ambassadorial residence.
“It is an imposing six bedroomed property of fine proportions with bright spacious rooms and superb views of the surrounding countryside, including the Sugar Loaf Mountain.”
The house was built in 1868 to a design by renowned Irish architect William Fogerty, who also created St Michael’s Church in Limerick and the Methodist College, Belfast.
While the property is being sold on the open market all its contents will be sold off at an auction held inside the house on November 3.
The 800 lots include antique furniture and ornaments, old masters paintings and expensive jewellery.
Oscar-winner Connery now lives in the Bahamas with his wife Micheline after retiring from acting in 2004.