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Places with literary connections

Rudyard Kipling's writing desk in the study at Bateman's, East Sussex
Rudyard Kipling's writing desk in the study at Bateman's in East Sussex | © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Generations of writers, playwrights and poets found inspiration in the places where they lived and worked, from houses to gardens and landscapes. We now care for many of these places so you can discover the inspiration behind the words for yourself.

Bateman’s, East Sussex
Rudyard Kipling wrote Puck of Pook's Hill in 1906, taking inspiration from the hill behind his Jacobean house. You can see Kipling’s strong associations with the East in the house in the many Oriental rugs and artefacts. Most of the rooms, including his book-lined study, are as he left them.Follow in Rudyard Kipling's footsteps
Coleridge Cottage, Somerset
Samuel Coleridge lived in this 17th-century cottage for three years from 1797. It was during his time 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.Visit Coleridge Cottage
Gray's Monument, Buckinghamshire
Poet Thomas Gray wrote the world-famous poem, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, while he was staying in the village of Stoke Poges, home to the monument.Explore the landscape that inspired Gray
A tree-lined path leads to Greenway House in Devon, the white exterior Georgian house, with visitors walking outside the front.
Visitors at Greenway in Devon | © National Trust Images/John Millar
Greenway, Devon
The scene of the crime in Agatha Christie's Dead Man's Folly was Greenway. The house also had a starring role in her personal life, as it was her beloved holiday home on the River Dart in Devon. We care for Christie's extensive collections, as well as the Georgian house.Discover Agatha Christie's collection
Hardy’s Cottage, Dorset
This cottage is filled with literary history and is where Thomas Hardy was born. Here, he wrote Under the Greenwood Tree and Far From the Madding Crowd. Max Gate is a short journey away, a red-brick villa designed by Hardy himself. This is where he wrote Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure and The Mayor of Casterbridge were created.Explore Hardy's birthplace
Beatrix Potter's chair next to the fire in the house at Hill Top, Cumbria
Beatrix Potter's chair at Hill Top | © National Trust Images/Colin Beacon
Hill Top, Cumbria
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. This is also where she brought Tom Kitten, Samuel Whiskers and Jemima Puddleduck to life.Visit Hill Top
Lamb House, East Sussex
A stunning Georgian house with connections to some of the greatest writers of the 20th century, Lamb House is now celebrating its 300th year. Past residents include Henry James, E.F. Benson and Rumer Godden, and among those visiting Lamb House were H.G. Wells, Joseph Conrad and Rudyard Kipling.Visit Lamb House
Monk’s House, East Sussex
Virginia Woolf is recognised as one of the foremost modernist literary figures of the 20th century. She purchased Monk’s House with her husband Leonard in 1919 at the start of her career as a published author. Visit this intimate home, which is still full of their favourite things.Visit Monk's House
Shaw’s Corner, Hertfordshire
George Bernard Shaw left his beloved home of 44 years to the National Trust on his death. Shaw was renowned for his wit and imagination and the enduring characters of his plays. The house is largely as Shaw left it, with a fascinating collection of personal belongings. You can also visit his famous writing hut, which is tucked away at the bottom of the garden.Explore Shaw's writing hut
Tŷ Mawr Wybrnant, Conwy
The Wybrnant valley holds great significance to the history and culture of Wales. Tŷ Mawr Wybrnant was the birthplace of Bishop William Morgan, the first person to translate the entire Bible into Welsh. In Tudor Britain, Morgan's work gave the Welsh people easy access to biblical teachings and created a standard version of written Welsh for the first time.Visit Tŷ Mawr Wybrnant
Wordsworth House, Cumbria
William Wordsworth, a great poet of the Romantic age, was born in this Georgian townhouse. The home and gardens are presented as they would have been in the 1770s, so you can experience it as Wordsworth would have done in his childhood.Visit Wordsworth House
Visitors at the Christmas market at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

Where will you visit next?

Discover lots of gardens, historic houses, days out at the coast and more.

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The idyllic setting Ferry Cottage, Brixham, Devon

Cottages with literary connections 

From Agatha Christie and Beatrix Potter, to Enid Blyton and William Wordsworth, the places we care for have inspired some of our nation’s most loved writers and poets. Book a holiday to one of these cottages and discover the inspiration behind their works for yourself.

Part of a frieze painted around the top of the walls in the library at Greenway in 1944 when the house was requisitioned by the U.S. Coast Guard. The murals depict incidents which occurred during the journey the men took to get to Greenway. They were painted by Lt Marshall Lee.

History of Greenway 

Agatha Christie spent time at Greenway for holidays and for time to relax as a family. Find out how she came to purchase the property and how it became requisitioned during the Second World War.

A member of staff dressed in black Georgian costume outside the front of Wordsworth House and Garden

History of Wordsworth House 

Discover the history of William Wordsworth’s childhood home, which was a place of both great happiness and sorrow, and learn how it was saved from complete destruction.

Visitors in the 16th century kitchen at Buckland Abbey, Devon

Places with famous connections 

Walk in the footsteps of famous people. From The Beatles to Sir Winston Churchill, Agatha Christie to Isaac Newton, discover more as you step into their former homes.