IT is the end of an era as Only Fools and Horses star John Challis' wife confirms she has left Herefordshire for a new life in Somerset.

Wigmore Abbey, a spectacular seven-bedroom Grade I listed property with a library, stables, and more than five acres of grounds, was put on the market with Mark Wiggin Estate Agents with a £1.5million price tag last year.

The sale comes after Challis, best known for playing Boycie in the much-loved sitcom, died in 2021, after a battle with cancer.

And it appears that a sale has now been made, with his widow, Carol, taking to social media to bid farewell to her life in Herefordshire and her home of 26 years.

"I'm leaving today for a different life down in Somerset and it's all a bit overwhelming," she said.

Carol is now settling in at her new home, but said she is "bereft" at having left her old home behind, and thanked those that had sent her words of support and encouragement.

John and Carol had come to Herefordshire in 1998, settling in the historic Abbot's Lodgings at Wigmore Abbey. 

The much-loved Bristol-born actor, who grew up in south-east London, spent childhood holidays in Symonds Yat, and previously said restoring and preserving the 12th century abbey was his and his wife's passion.

Wigmore Abbey was also to become home to Wigmore Books, set up in 2011 to publish books of general and local interest, fiction and non-fiction.

A well-known figure in the area, Challis made regular appearances at special events, from cutting the ribbon at Orleton's new village hall kitchen in 2018 to opening garden festivals and fetes in the county.

He was also keen to support Herefordshire charities, with £2 from every sale of his 2011 autobiographical book Being Boycie – published by Wigmore Books – going to the Martha Trust, which helps profoundly disabled young people.