Thursday 6 October 2011

Beatrix Potter Part 3 Hill Top and Castle Farm

Today I am going to share some photos of Beatrix's home at Hill Top and it's cottage gardens, as well as a glimpse of Castle Farm across the road where she and William lived after their marriage in 1913. They had met through William's work as a solicitor....he acted for her as she bought up farms around the Lake District to preserve them. This is a much less known fact about Beatrix; she was fiercely devoted to maintaining the traditional farming practises with particular regard to the local Herdwick sheep which were threatened by farmers turning to other breeds from outside the area. As she bought up farms Beatrix changed her will leaving them and the land to the National Trust and therefore to the people of the United Kingdom.

Beatrix built up a celebrated flock of Herdwick sheep with the help of a shepherd named Tom Storey and won many prizes at Lakeland Shows in the 1930s. She was even asked to become a judge at the shows, such was her expertise.

Tower Bank House is next door to Hill Top and was bought by Beatrix just before her death.
I hope you enjoy this virtual tour of Near Sawrey, Cumbria.

The white building in the background is Castle Farm where Beatrix and William lived after their marriage. They kept Hill Top just as it was and often entertained visitors there.
These photos are of the lush garden on the way to the front of Hill Top.....

...and this is the Kitchen Garden where Peter Rabbit had so much trouble with Mr Mcgregor...

 The front of the house, yes it was still raining!

It was difficult to take photographs as there were so many people around and it was such a grey day so here are some much nicer ones at

Photography is not permitted at all inside many National Trust properties but I do have this lovely book here called, "At Home With Beatrix Potter" by Susan Denyer and I have taken photos of some of the may recognise some of the scenes from Beatrix's books as this is where most of them were written and illustrated...

Beatrix's bed before her marriage, she worked the embroidery on the top hangings herself later in life.

The Hall or Firehouse where the family would spend most time in days gome by. This room features in The Tale of Samuel  Whiskers. 

This huge dresser bears an oil lamp...Beatrix refused to have electricity installed. The  oak longcase clock dates back to 1785 and appears in The Tailor of Gloucestor.

Looking down the stairs which appear in several books

I do hope you've enjoyed this journey to the home of a very special person, her books are much-loved by people all over the world and her work to preserve a large part of the beautiful Lake District is an enduring legacy.
When Beatrix died in 1943, aged 77yrs, she had bequeathed 4,049 acres of land with 14 farms and 20 houses to the Nation. She specified that only Herdwick sheep could be raised on these farms. William died just 2 years later, some say of a broken heart, and left 3 farms and 3 cottages as well as the Hawkshead offices of William Heelis and Son I showed you yesterday.


  1. It's been a lot of fun Sue, thank you for sharing all the info and the pictures. No wonder she wrote so beautifully living as she did.

  2. Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos Sue. I've always loved Beatrix Potter so its lovely to see where she lived.

  3. Sue this journey has been absolutely fabulous to follow! Thankyou! My husband has even come and had a look at all your photos with me as he to loves old history such as this. A few months ago we let our boys watch the movie Beatrix Potter and they just loved it, especially Master 5 who then drew pictures from the movie and talked about it for a few weeks following. He has an enormous imagination developing so I feel something classic like Beatrix Potter is just right for him to read about and watch, I will show him your photos once they have watched the movie again and I will see what comes out in his drawings :) Thankyou again, what a wonderful journey of posts to follow :) Regards, Ruth