Childhood home of Wind in the Willows author Kenneth Grahame which is said to have inspired the classic book goes on the market for more than £4million
- The 12-bedroom property was the home of Kenneth Grahame for three years
- Property in Cookham Dean, Berkshire, is on sale for the first time in 54 years
The childhood home of the author of classic novel Wind in the Willows has gone on the market for more than £4million.
Author Kenneth Grahame was sent to live with his grandmother at The Mount in Cookham Dean, Berkshire, when he was just four years old, and despite only living there for three years, the property appeared to have a lasting impact as it is said to have inspired his most well-known novel.
The Thames was within walking distance and from the 12-bedroom house, Grahame would have been able to see the bucolic village and Cliveden House, said to have inspired Toad Hall.
Grahame’s time in Cookham Dean were later said to be the happiest of his life, so much so that he returned to live in the village in 1906 at the age of 47.
Two year later, he started to pen Wind in the Willows as a bedtime story for his then four-year-old son Alastair, setting the story of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Mr Toad in the gardens and river bank he fondly remembered from his childhood.
Author Kenneth Grahame was sent to live with his grandmother at The Mount in Cookham Dean, Berkshire, when he was just four years old
The reception hall boasts original wooden floors and ornate carvings around the ceiling
One of the rooms features a grand fireplace and wood panelled walls, giving it a cosy feel
The property has three floors and comes complete with a reception hall, drawing room, dining room, sitting room, two kitchens and two studies
The property has a total of 12 spacious bedrooms, each with high ceilings and large windows to boast stunning views of the surrounding countryside
Grahame’s time in Cookham Dean were later said to be the happiest of his life, so much so that he returned to live in the village in 1906 at the age of 47
The property is so inspiring that it is also featured in several landscapes and still lifes painted by artist Sir Stanley Spencer.
Now the place that inspired him, the Grade II listed property called the Mount, is on sale for the first time in 54 years.
Originally built as a hunting lodge on the edge of Windsor Great Park in around 1600, the 7,400 square foot property sits in 3.5 acres of ‘magical’ gardens, which include a swimming pool and an orchard.
The property has three floors and comes complete with a reception hall, drawing room, dining room, sitting room, two kitchens and two studies.
Outside, it has formal gardens which include a yew hedged topiary, an Italianate sunken garden and an ornamental pond, as well as an outdoor swimming pool, a woodland walkway along its perimeter and a former kitchen garden.
The Kellett family have owned the property since 1969, where siblings John, Paul and Caroline, who died in 2014, grew up. The remaining brothers are now looking to sell up.
‘We had a wonderful childhood playing at The Mount, with days and days spent exploring the enchanted woods, gardens, fields and orchards surrounding it’, John said.
The Kellett family have owned the property since 1969, where siblings John, Paul and Caroline, who died in 2014, grew up
A reception room boasts large windows and ornate detail on the ceiling
A window seat in the reception room gives visitors the chance to really take in the views around the property
The style throughout the home is quite eclectic, with a living room featuring low ceilings and exposed beams in contrast to other areas of the property
The property comes complete with a private outdoor swimming pool on its grounds
Outside, it has formal gardens which include a yew hedged topiary, an Italianate sunken garden and an ornamental pond and a former kitchen garden
There is also a woodland walkway along the perimeter of the 3.5 acres of the property
‘Of course, back then, we had no inkling that the same willows, elms and apple trees were the inspiration to Grahame’s classic tales that we, and I am sure many more enjoyed reading as children.
‘But even now the magical home and grounds are still an inspiration to my brother and I.
‘We are sad to be leaving the home, but now is the right time for another family to raise their children there in all The Mount’s glorious surroundings.’
Paul Finnegan, from Savills, who are selling the property, said: ‘It is incredibly rare for such a beautiful house with a tapestry of rich history to come to market in one of the best locations in Berkshire.
‘Not only was The Mount home to Kenneth Grahame during his formative childhood years, which many academics believe provided the inspiration behind his greatest work, The Wind in the Willows, but it was later the setting for some of Sir Stanley Spencer’s best work, across many decades.
‘With the house situated in the sought after village of Cookham Dean, this country home is perfect for those looking for an idyllic, yet accessible refuge from London, but with great access to the amenities that the city provides.
‘It is the combination of countryside and proximity to London that is really sought after amongst our country house buyers who are still wanting to commute back into town.’
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