Enid Blyton’s ‘Fairytale’ Cottage Goes on Sale
The scene of much literary inspiration, Enid Blyton wrote The Faraway Tree series and the Wishing Chair series here.
There’s a little kid inside you that’s probably jumping right now at this sudden throwback to one of your most enduring childhood memories. The former home of Enid Blyton, where she wrote many of her much-loved books, is on sale for £1.85 million.
Old Thatch – according to The Telegraph – located a few miles from High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, was Blyton’s home for nine years, from 1929 to 1938. This was the epicentre of her creativity – the place where many of her most beloved characters were created, establishing the idyllic cottage as a literary star in its own right.
In fact, as The Daily Mail reports, ‘Old Thatch’ also became the name of a series of her books. One volume which revolves around a little girl named Gilian (named after Blyton’s oldest daughter) and her adventures in the fields surrounding her home – specifically mentioned as Old Thatch.
While the above reference would hardly be too obscure for a true-blue Blyton aficionado, there are more ‘famous’ books that were penned by her while she lived in this very cottage. The Faraway Tree and Wishing Chair series – beautiful in the sphere of imagined worlds – were written here, while the darling Brer Rabbit was also visualised and given written form to at Old Thatch.
According to The Telegraph, in 1938, when her daughters were aged seven and three, Blyton moved to a new house in Beaconsfield named Green Hedges.
She divorced their father, book editor Major Hugh Pollock, in 1942, and a year later married the surgeon Kenneth Darrell Waters. You will recall her popular Malory Towers heroine Darrell Rivers – the character was actually named after her husband!
You’ll Need Deep Pockets to Reclaim Literary History
You’ll need to inhabit a whole different realm of moneys, however, to be able to afford Enid Blyton’s home right now. One look at the breathtaking 17th century property is enough to melt a thousand hearts and remind you of all the times you – rightly – picked a gorgeous countryside house and called it ‘Blytonesque’.
The Grade II listed property is set in 1 and 1/2 acres and exudes a charm beyond the 21st century mundane. Reportedly, Enid Blyton herself – when she’d first come to live here with Pollock in the summer of 1929 – was enamoured with it.
Here’s Where She Wrote her Most Loved Books
In her diaries, she described it as a ‘fairytale house’, adding:
You enter through a funny old lych gate with a thatched roof and there are big fruit trees, and yew hedges, in which hosts of little birds have built their nests. Roses bloom everywhere.
It is little wonder that many of her books have references to scenery just as vivid, just as colourful, just as serene. In fact, if one looked really closely – and adoringly – at the sight of the pretty Old Thatch, one could almost see her sitting there, nestled amidst the folds of nature, typing furiously at her typewriter, shadows of the trees in her bower falling gently on her.
The gardens have even featured on the BBC’s Gardeners’ World programme, as well as in newspapers and magazines around the world.
Current Owners to Give Away a Bit of History
The Hawthornes who currently live there are reported by The Daily Mail to express great angst at leaving the place – particularly after spending two decades at the property. Yet, as the owners of three boats, “they yearn to live next to a river”.
We love the seclusion and the atmosphere here. But we only intended to be here for a few years. Such is the magic of Old Thatch that those few years became 20 – but we have boats and they need a home!
– Jacky Hawthorne, current owner of Old Thatch
One can only hope that whichever patron this house does fall to will have a bit of imagination and a semblance of the starry-eyed wonderer in them – if for nothing else, then to honour the memory of arguably the greatest children’s book writer that ever lived.
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