I’d posted a few weeks ago that we’d found George Bernard Shaw’s house, known as “Shaw’s Corner,” in neighboring Ayot St Lawrence. The other day – Sunday – with my nephew, who was visiting us for the weekend, we walked back there again and actually went in to see it. Admission is £7.50 per adult, and worth it.
He and his wife had no children, so late in life he approached Britain’s National Trust preservation society suggesting that he would will it to them on his death if they’d maintain it. Initially, the Trust wasn’t too keen. A guide said the group felt the house itself wasn’t old enough or architecturally noteworthy. However, it dawned on the Trust that his literary significance and fame, as well as all he had done to the gardens, made taking up his offer worthwhile; that visitors would appreciate it. So the organization agreed.
The house is very much a “home”; it’s not a mansion. The ten rooms – which are mostly modest – are set out much as they were when he died in 1950. (I didn’t take photos inside. I don’t recall a “no photography” rule, but taking any just felt inappropriate.) Seeing them is to step back to that earlier era.
Although he had an office in his house, Shaw also had a summer house he would use to write. It was down the hill and well away from the house….
This is where you stick writers (or maybe they place themselves): outside, in a shed, with – if they’re lucky – windows.
After, we stopped at the nearby pub. Shaw frequented the establishment. But he didn’t drink.
That didn’t stop me. 🙂