Literary connections

Generations of writers, playwrights and poets found inspiration in the beauty of the places where they lived and worked.

We now care for many of these special places so you can discover the inspiration behind the words for yourself.

    Agatha Christie

    The scene of the crime in 'Dead Man's Folly', Greenway also had a starring role in Agatha Christie's personal life as her beloved holiday home on the River Dart in Devon. Discover her extensive collections in the beautiful Georgian house; from Tunbridge Ware to books of poisons, and soak up the beautiful views from the boathouse.

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    The 17th-century cottage was home to Coleridge for three years, from 1797. It was during his time here in Somerset that Coleridge wrote his finest works, including The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan, Frost at Midnight, The Nightingale, Cristabel and This Lime Tree Bower my Prison. Both Coleridge and Wordsworth are seen as crucial in the development of the literary Romantic Movement.

    Thomas Hardy

    See where 'Under the Greenwood Tree' and 'Far From the Madding Crowd' were written, at Hardy's Cottage, the small cob and thatch cottage built by Hardy's father. A short journey away is Max Gate, a red brick villa designed by Hardy himself. Here 'Tess of the d’Urbervilles', 'Jude the Obscure' and 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' were created.

    Rudyard Kipling

    'Puck of Pook's Hill', written by Kipling in 1906, takes inspiration from the hill behind this beautiful Jacobean house. Kipling’s strong associations with the East can be seen within the house in the many Oriental rugs and artefacts. Most of the rooms - including his book lined study - are much as he left them.

    Beatrix Potter

    Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top with the royalties earned from Peter Rabbit and the garden is laid out to reflect Peter’s adventures with Mr McGregor. Tom Kitten, Samuel Whiskers and Jemima Puddleduck were all created here. Down the road in Hawkshead is the Beatrix Potter Gallery with exhibitions of original sketches and watercolours from the celebrated children’s stories.

    George Bernard Shaw

    Hidden at the bottom of the garden, in the grounds of his Edwardian villa, you will find the writing hut of this famous Irish playwright. The house too is much as he left it, with many personal effects scattered around.

    William Wordsworth

    Experience the childhood of William Wordsworth by visiting the Georgian townhouse where the great poet was born. Costumed interpreters are on hand to provide an insight into the daily life of the family and their servants.

    Virginia Woolf

    The Woolfs purchased Monk’s House in 1919 at the start of Virginia’s career as a published author. Visit this intimate home full of their favourite things that appears as if the couple just stepped out for a walk. The cottage garden and surrounding Sussex landscape were a constant source of inspiration Virginia who is recognised as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the twentieth century.