THE relations of a famous Wiltshire-born writer got an insight into his life when they visited the museum in his name.

Two visitors from Canada visited the birthplace of their famous ancestor in Swindon this week when sisters Kody and Kelly Taylor attended the Richard Jefferies Museum, in Marlborough Road, Coate.

The pair, from Manitoba, in Canada, are the great, great, great grand-daughters of the Swindon nature writer, who was born at Coate Water in 1848.

Kelly said: “I can’t find the words to describe it. The whole place is so beautiful, and it’s so strange to think that our ancestor lived here all that time ago and achieved so much.”

The sisters had been on an academic course in Ireland but were determined to visit the house of their ancestor, which is now the Richard Jefferies Museum, said a museum spokesman.

“They were met at the museum by Richard Jefferies Society members John Price and Peter Bainbridge and museum managers Mike Pringle and Hilda Sheehan, who showed the pair around the site and told them all about the life of the man back in Victorian times,” he said.

The spokesman said the pair were overwhelmed during the visit.

“As well as seeing the new displays recently created through a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, the sisters enjoyed glorious sunshine in the gardens, had a walk up to Coate Water country park, and had their first taste of an English cream tea, with jam made from mulberries grown in the garden,” he said.

Richard Jefferies, who died in 1887, is best known for his writings about nature and the countryside.

His birthplace and home at Coate, now on the outskirts of Swindon, provide the background to all his major works of fiction and for many of his essays.

The museum, also hosts exhibitions and other displays, which the sisters were able to enjoy.

“The pair were also among the first visitors to a new exhibition in the museum by local artist Tim Carroll, with a series of paintings depicting scenes from Swindon and the surrounding countryside,” the museum spokesman said.

Visit www.richard