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Zoe H
Administrator
Posts: 1740

I visited Hill Top and saw Beatrix Potter's dolls' house last week. Having been a fan of the books since I was a child, the dolls' house raised lots of quesitons for me and I've made a blog about it today:


https://trulymadlytiny.blogspot.co.uk


If anyone has any information on the dolls' house or can answer any of my questions, I would love to hear from them. Otherwise, you might just enjoy the photos!


I will also add some photos to an album on this site later in the week.

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Zoe

https://trulymadlytiny.blogspot.co.uk

http://grecondale.com

May 7, 2017 at 11:19 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Rosemary
Member
Posts: 2508

"Mrs Heelis' House "c.1870  She did not own this house as a child but bought it much later and installed it at Hill Top farm. The home of the Two Bad Mice was drawn from photographs, she did not actually see it.

Well, that's what it says inVivien 1955 English Dolls' Houses book!

May 7, 2017 at 12:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Zoe H
Administrator
Posts: 1740

Thank you, Rosemary! I think I've got that book too - I'll have to look it up. I think the fact that it's not the actual house used as inspiration for The Tale of Two Bad Mice should be made clear - the NT website page actually states that it is. Good to know that she did actually own it though and it's not a later NT aquisition. I'd love to know what happened to Winifred Warne's house.

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Zoe

https://trulymadlytiny.blogspot.co.uk

http://grecondale.com

May 7, 2017 at 12:45 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Zoe H
Administrator
Posts: 1740

Two VG books but not that one! I have found an entry in Constance Eileen King's The Collector's History of Dolls' Houses' though, saying more or less the same thing. "The doll's house at Hilltop.... though often thought to have been the inspiration for the well-known story, was in fact obtained at a much later date. It seems likely that this well-made battlemented house in the style of the 1860s-70s was bought locally, as it appealed to Beatrix Potter's fascination with miniature objects and made a suitable repository for the food she had made for The Tale of a two Bad Mice". (Not sure why she says "the food she had made" as that came from Hamley's.)

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Zoe

https://trulymadlytiny.blogspot.co.uk

http://grecondale.com

May 7, 2017 at 1:08 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Edel
Administrator
Posts: 483

There's a good photograph of Winifred Warne's house on page 124 of Margaret Lane's "The magic years of Beatrix Potter", taken from the same angle as the full view of the house in the book. Beatrix Potter's mother wouldn't allow her to visit Winifred Warne's parents to see the completed house as she thought they were beneath her (!). She had seen it under construction in Norman Warne's parents' basement, but only thought of using it for a story after it had gone to his niece Winifred. So she had to work from photographs - and took some liberties with details too. It would be lovely to know what happened to the house...

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Edel

https://www.flickr.com/photos/shero6820/

May 7, 2017 at 1:41 PM Flag Quote & Reply

jenny
Member
Posts: 187

The dolls house at Hill Top was open when I visited there about 5 years ago, the National Trust had put a piece of perspex over the front so there was a good view of everything inside. However as it was a school holiday week it was a struggle to get a good look without being stood on.  

Last Christmas Fenwicks department store in Newcastle had  a copy of the Winifred Warne dolls house as their window display. It was very good, definitley not the original house though!  I would love to know if the house has survived. I thought I had read that it was "missing."

May 7, 2017 at 2:18 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Zoe H
Administrator
Posts: 1740

jenny at May 7, 2017 at 2:18 PM

The dolls house at Hill Top was open when I visited there about 5 years ago, the National Trust had put a piece of perspex over the front so there was a good view of everything inside. However as it was a school holiday week it was a struggle to get a good look without being stood on.  

Last Christmas Fenwicks department store in Newcastle had  a copy of the Winifred Warne dolls house as their window display. It was very good, definitley not the original house though!  I would love to know if the house has survived. I thought I had read that it was "missing."

I've just found an excerpt online from 'Beatrix Potter's Letters' by Judy Taylor and apparently, in 1917, the Warne family had to sell their real house quickly to pay their company debtors and they were looking for a place to store the dolls' house.


They asked Beatrix if she'd keep it for them at Hill Top and she agreed but suggested that if it was too difficult to pack they might lend it to a children's hospital. A note in the book says, however, that In the end the dolls' house was sold to the family who lived next door to the Warnes and it has since been lost, so your memory serves you correctly, Jenny.


What a great shame it didn't make it to Hill Top but one to look out for at car boot sales, LOL!

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Zoe

https://trulymadlytiny.blogspot.co.uk

http://grecondale.com

May 7, 2017 at 2:36 PM Flag Quote & Reply

jenny
Member
Posts: 187

Thanks for the info. Zoe.  And yes, always at the back of my mind is the  great hope that i will find it under the table at a car boot fair!! 

May 7, 2017 at 3:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Maddy
Member
Posts: 93

Thank you, Zoe, for your blog about the dolls house, etc.  I thoroughly enjoyed.

May 8, 2017 at 3:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Jeanette
Member
Posts: 74
So did I , Zoe...
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May 8, 2017 at 3:34 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Zoe H
Administrator
Posts: 1740

I've added an update on the BP dolls' house to my blog today:


https://trulymadlytiny.blogspot.co.uk

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Zoe

https://trulymadlytiny.blogspot.co.uk

http://grecondale.com

May 12, 2017 at 8:57 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Maddy
Member
Posts: 93

Love the update Zoe. I love the way you write; sometimes you are like a naughty little girl (lol) and sometimes you are a (sort of) grown up, but always interesting and fun. Thank you.

May 12, 2017 at 11:13 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Zoe H
Administrator
Posts: 1740

Maddy at May 12, 2017 at 11:13 AM

Love the update Zoe. I love the way you write; sometimes you are like a naughty little girl (lol) and sometimes you are a (sort of) grown up, but always interesting and fun. Thank you.

Thank you, Maddy, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Yes, that about sums me up - silly and serious, as someone once put it.

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Zoe

https://trulymadlytiny.blogspot.co.uk

http://grecondale.com

May 12, 2017 at 12:19 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Sarah
Member
Posts: 31

This has been fascinating Zoe.  Thank you for posting it.

May 13, 2017 at 3:33 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Jan
Member
Posts: 1705

So interesting Zoe, will give the National Trust a headache no doubt, hope there are some positive responses, don't know of the books, so learning as I go.

May 13, 2017 at 5:02 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Jan
Member
Posts: 1705

I'd like too say thank you Zoe, your blogs, writings, explaining everything and being so generous with your time as is Rebecca and Edel, we are so lucky.

May 13, 2017 at 1:36 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Zoe H
Administrator
Posts: 1740

Thank you, Jan xx It's all fun to do though!

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Zoe

https://trulymadlytiny.blogspot.co.uk

http://grecondale.com

May 14, 2017 at 5:15 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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