Enchanted Land

Here's a quiz:  which of these three things could you purchase for £1?

The answer is not that particular candle or that pair of reading glasses, but rather Moat Brae in Dumphries, Scotland.  

Support: Joanna Lumley launched an appeal to restore Moat Brae House and turn it into Scotland's first centre for children's literatureThat was the sum for which The Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust paid for this beautiful, dilapidated Georgian villa.  But as anyone who has ever bought an old house can tell you, it's the cost of repairs that really get you.   A fundraising effort, spearheaded by Joanna Lumley, has succeeded in securing a grant from Historic Scotland but the effort continues with the eventual goal of turning the site into a national centre for children's literature.

While J.M. Barrie never lived in this house he did spend significant time there as a child and was to later say of the place:
When the shades of night began to fall, certain young mathematicians shed their triangles, crept up walls and down trees, and became pirates in a sort of Odyssey that was long afterwards to become the play of Peter Pan. For our escapades in a certain Dumfries Garden, which is enchanted land to me, was certainly the genesis of that nefarious work [Peter Pan].

I've always had an interest in writers' houses; I like to think of the leopard print carpet on the stairs of Edith Wharton's house The Mount and I would like to live in something like the house Robison Jeffers built.  But somehow even more interesting are the houses that inspired novels.  The House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Mass. is a living monument to the novel of that name and it's nice to know  it may soon be possible to visit Neverland.

1 comment:

melanie said...

Could you imagine owning a place like this! After the repairs it would be dreamy...