Have you ever visited the birthplace of one of Britain’s most influential nature writers? Now is your chance – the Sunday open days for the Richard Jefferies Museum start on 6th May.
You don’t have to travel far to see where Richard Jefferies [1848-1887] was born and raised at Coate. The old thatched cottage and house on the corner of Day House Lane and Marlborough Road along with Coate Water, the fields, hedges, streams, hills, plants, creatures and village life were all described in great detail by this prolific and individual writer. This area is, perhaps, the most written about landscape of anywhere in Britain.
Within a few years of his short life Jefferies wrote over twenty books and hundreds of essays that are still inspirational today. One of his best known novels is Bevis - a boy’s adventure story set around his home and where Jefferies reminisces about his own childhood.
The Jefferies’ family farm was bought by Swindon Council in 1926 and was, in part, opened as a Museum in the 1960s. By 1984, the Museum faced a bleak future and was due to be shut down. However volunteers from the Richard Jefferies Society have kept the Museum open to the public on Sundays from May to the end of September, between 2pm to 5pm and the second Wednesday of the month from 10am-4pm throughout the year. Entrance to the Museum is free and is just a 200 yard walk from Coate Water.
Jean Saunders, Honorary Secretary of the Richard Jefferies Society said: “It is a charming place, full of family memorabilia, photographs and his books. Please come along and learn more about this brilliant writer who was so passionate and proud of his home. Come and see what inspired him to write, before it is surrounded by more buildings.”
For more information phone Jean Saunders on 01793 783040 Richard Jefferies Society, Pear Tree Cottage, Longcot, SN7 7SS.
Based on information supplied by Jean Saunders.