The New Rectory of Ayot St Lawrence
Shaw's Corner was originally built as the New Rectory for Ayot St Lawrence by the Church of England in 1902. The house was designed very much in the Arts and Crafts style with stained glass windows and hearts cut into the banisters.
We’re not sure if the house was ever used as the rectory, because it was offered for rent by the Church of England in 1906. The Shaws had just left a house in nearby Welwyn and were in 'the agonies of house hunting' as Shaw wrote to H.G.Wells, when they found the house that would become their most permanent home.
A timeline of Shaw's Corner
1902: The house is built by local church architects
1906 The Shaws start to rent the house, fully furnished, from the Church of England
1915 Shaw helps villagers clear the roads after a terrible storm
1920 The Shaws buy the house for £6,332
1923 The garden is extended, as Shaw buys an extra strip of land to the west and south
1944 Shaw hands the property over to the National Trust after Charlotte's death
1950 Shaw dies in the Dining Room on 2 November
1951 The house opens to the public on 17 March