Shaw’s Corner

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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.

Street sign, sending you in the right direction. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Street sign, sending you in the right direction. [Photo by me, 2016.]

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.

House owned by author/playwright George Bernard Shaw from 1906-1950. [Photo by me, 2016.]
House owned by author/playwright George Bernard Shaw from 1906-1950. [Photo by me, 2016.]
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….

[Photo by me, 2016.]
[Photo by me, 2016.]
This is where you stick writers (or maybe they place themselves): outside, in a shed, with – if they’re lucky – windows.

Shaw's writing hut, about the size of a garden shed. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Shaw’s writing hut, about the size of a garden shed. [Photo by me, 2016.]
The inside of Shaw's writing hut. It also housed a camp bed - seen to the right. [Photo by me, 2016.]
The inside of Shaw’s writing hut. It also housed a camp bed – seen to the right. [Photo by me, 2016.]
After, we stopped at the nearby pub. Shaw frequented the establishment. But he didn’t drink.

Me, having a pint at a nearby pub after visiting Shaw's Corner. [Photo by Mrs. Nello, 2016.]
Me, having a pint at a nearby pub after visiting Shaw’s Corner. [Photo by Mrs. Nello, 2016.]
That didn’t stop me. 🙂

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