Making your own house at Pooh corner — author A.A. Milne’s home is for sale
In “The House at Pooh Corner,” Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet and their friends decide to build a house for Eeyore, who has none.
Now the home of the man who wrote that and the other Pooh stories, A.A. Milne, could be yours. Cotchford Farm, where author A.A. Milne wrote the stories of Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet and the rest is being sold by British real estate company Savills for $2.38 million.
The farmhouse that Milne purchased in 1924 dated to the 16th century and was in disrepair. The small family — Alan Alexander Milne, wife Daphne and their son, Christopher Robin Milne, whom they often called Billy — started spending time there in the spring of 1925.
Milne’s inspiration for the animals in his stories were Billy’s stuffed animals: Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga and Roo. The surrounding countryside served as inspiration, too, for creatures such as Owl and Rabbit. His own son served as the model for Christopher Robin, the little boy in the stories.
During World War II, with a grown-up Christopher first gone to study at Cambridge and then enlisted, Milne and his wife lived exclusively at Cotchford Farm. Part of the property was used by the British government to house evacuees.
Today, the 3,779 square-foot home in the town of Hartfield in southeast England sits on 9.5 acres, has six bedrooms and five bathrooms.
The kitchen is updated; the dining room is paneled in oak. Exposed wood beams are found in bedrooms and the split-level drawing room, which features an inglenook fireplace with a brick hearth and wood-burning stove.
Outside the house, there is a brick terrace; a well-tended garden; a kitchen garden, apple orchard and woods; a fish pond, summer house and swimming pool.
The pool is famous for a very non-Pooh-related reason. Brian Jones, the Rolling Stones guitarist who owned the property in the 1960s, died in the pool in 1969. His death was ruled an accident, but rumors that he was slain by a construction worker still persist.
The property has been in the same ownership since the 1970s. It’s a Grade II Listed property, meaning it is a building of special interest, warranting every effort to be preserved.
In “The House at Pooh Corner,” Winnie-the-Pooh “hurried back to his own house; and his mind was so busy on the way… that, when he suddenly saw Piglet sitting in his best arm-chair, he could only stand there rubbing his head and wondering whose house he was in. ‘Hallo, Piglet,’ he said. ‘I thought you were out.’ ‘No,’ said Piglet, ‘it’s you who were out, Pooh.’ ‘So it was,’ said Pooh. ‘I knew one of us was.’”
The toys that inspired Milne to write “The House at Pooh Corner” and “Winnie-the-Pooh” are currently on display in the New York Public Library, along with a map of the nearby Hundred Acre Wood.
In his biography “In Which Milne’s Life Is Told,” Paul Brody wrote, “Even if the characters were personified versions of his son’s toys, where they lived was real.”
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