Owner Sells £3.5million Footballers’ Wives Pad, Beckham Bought His Last One.

Published: 28th March 2011
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Elsenham House was the mansion used to film ITV’s drama Footballers’ Wives as the producers of the show were impressed with the neo-classical facade of the exterior of the property and the extravagant gadgets of the interior. The owner of the property Richard Maher knows how to sell a property as his last property was bought by the Beckhams.

Richard previously owned Rowneybury House, which is now dubbed Beckingham Palace after the Beckhams bought it. However this property would also make many footballers wives jealous with the lavish decor. The show was actually filmed in the property for about a year as so both Richard and his wife Shenda had to share their home with a film crew consisting of forty people. The house is situated on the Essex/Hertfordshire border and is only two miles from Stansted airport, Richard built the house twelve years ago and wanted it to be in the style of a 19th century Essex farmhouse.

When filming was taking place they admit that it was a little chaotic around the house but they were paid handsomely for it, around £3,000 per day. If filming was taking place during the day they would often watch but if it was at night they would be put up in a hotel, although they preferred to go to their second house in La Manga in Southern Spain.

Shenda is used to being around celebrities as she grew up with Spice Girl Emma Bunton and attended stage school with Denise Van Outen. She was also in the Eighties sit-com Me And My Girl although she later became a beautician.

Shenda admits that the house looks a lot bigger on the TV but Elsenham House is still 14,000 sq ft and to put this into context it covers the same area as ten three bedroom semi’s. It only has six bedrooms but each one has its own bathroom, Shenda says that they could have put twelve bedrooms in but they would never have used them, the house is up for sale for £3.75million. The master suite in the house is the size of an average flat and the antique four poster bed there was featured in many of the shows steamier scenes. The "smallest" room is still big and features a French musical toilet. One bedroom has hand painted walls of scenes from Walt Disney films which the couple said they also did in their old house for their daughter. They even think that the Beckham’s kept it for Brooklyn.

Richard believes that the entrance hall is the best feature of the house as he thinks that first impressions count so he wanted it to be big. Richard does not like square edges so he made everything curved and round so even the doors are curved.

The original house there was a ranch built by adult film maker David Sullivan who based it on Southfork from Dallas. Richard bought the house with 160 acres with stables for £1.5million in 1999 after he had sold Rowneybury House to the Beckhams for £2.5million. Richard had converted Rowneybury House due to it being a former children’s home.

Elsenham House appealed to Richard because of the land and stables as his son, Ben, is an international show jumper. He was just going to extend the original ranch but realised that the ceilings were too low in the house and so he pulled the entire house down. Richard has built houses in Spain after selling a chain of cosmetic surgeries in Harley Street in London eight years ago.

Elsenham House costs about £1million to build after Richard looked through old photographs and books to gain inspiration. But he admits that the build cost was ten years ago, today it would be around £2.5million. The couple feel that the house is too big now and want something smaller in nearby Bishop’s Stortford. The main house is for sale with ten acres as the rest of the land and stables have been separated to form Elsenham Stud for his son Ben.


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