Secret agent’s house and bar on sale for £6m
A lavish Chelsea townhouse once owned by a Cold War agent that boasts a bar funded by the KGB and MI6 has gone up for sale for £6 million.
The five-bedroom house in Chelsea’s Upper Cheyne Row was once home to British spy Greville Wynne, who regularly held private meetings there with KGB informant, Colonel Oleg Penkovsky. It was in this house that Penkovsky handed over information on the Cuban Missile Crisis to Greville, subsequently informing US President John F. Kennedy of Russian strategic military sites on the Carribean island.
Both fond of a drink, during their meetings Wynne and Penkovsky are said to have hatched a plan to convince their respective agencies to fund the construction of a bar in Wynne’s home, according to reports by The Daily Mail.
Both claimed it would loosen the other’s tongue and lead them to share more further information, with both agencies said to have stumped up £500 to build the bar, both unaware of the others involvement.
The bar, which cost Wynne just £100 leaving a healthy £900 surplus for the pair to stock it with alcohol, still stands untouched at the home offering a buyer the chance to own a piece of British spy history.
Jake Russell, director at specialist Chelsea estate agents Russell Simpson, who is selling the property, described it as a “1960’s time capsule” and “true icon in British history” complete with original oak-panelled ceilings and bespoke wood cabinets.
As well housing a bar James Bond would be proud of, the property also boasts a spacious roof terrace, five bedrooms, three reception rooms and a large drawing room.
Penkovsky life as an informant was later discovered and he was executed by the KGB in 1963, following his arrest the previous year.
The same year, Wynne was arrested by the KGB while in Budapest and taken to the Soviet Union, where he was convicted of spying. He was released in a prisoner exchange a year later and lived in the house until 1974.
He died in 1990 aged 70.