On this link HERE you can download Peter Rabbit MP3-stories for free! The link will open in a new window
We recently visited the Lake District and in particular, the western area, where you can see the purple-pinkish spot at Cockermouth. We stayed in an apartment at Mockerkin, just about 7 miles from Cockermouth. See my entry about Cockermouth here:https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/i-wandered-lonely-as-a-cloud/ and about Mockerkin here….https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2008/09/06/mockerkin/. For my South African readers reading here…I know it’s funny to say “miles”, but in England, all distances are in miles, which was a ‘surprise‘ to us, as we are used to kilometers and the metric system in South Africa. I grew up with the metric system, but they try to keep the Imperial System in England….sort of part of “tradition”.
On this map you can see whereabouts the farm of Beatrix Potter is…the other purple spot at Hawkshead. It’s also at “Near Sawrey”…we travelled about an hour from where we stayed to Hill Top farm. You have to buy a timed ticket. We went really very early, bought our ticket -for 5 past 12. You can choose your time, but we didn’t as we wanted to go as early as possible…..so we had just more than an hour to wait. To while the time away, we were doing some sightseeing. They don’t allow many people to go in at any one time and they’re very strict. If your ticket says 5 past 12, you can’t try to slip in at 3 min past 12…ask me!! lol! You have to wait till they call the time your ticket says! On the map you will also see a spot at Carlisle…and that will be my next stop with a next entry…as we visited Hadrian’s Wall there. The remains are actually more near to Brampton…which is near Carlisle. Just south of Cockermouth you will see Whitehaven, a coastal town and it has a historical ‘story’ too. I’ve got some great images which I took there, Whitehaven has an American “connection”. If you’re curious, you can go and read about it…I will upload images about it later.
This image was taken in front of Hill Top farm
Part of the house, as there were many visitors, it was difficult to take a complete picture without any visitors. We were not allowed to take any pictures from the inside of the house, but I have images from “The tale of the Roly Poly pudding”….and if you visit the house, you are given this book and as you wander through the house, you can look at images in the book and the house too, as Beatrix Potter was an illustrator herself, you will see how perfectly she illustrated her books. In particular this tale, the setting was Hill Top farm! I also have a link where you can read the complete story online.
Part of the house that is not accessible to tourists. A farmer lives here and I think he looks after the farm too. Beatrix extended the original house, but it was asked in her testament that this part will not be accessible to tourists.
hmm…think you know what this is…this was taken a few meters away from the front door..
Samuel Whiskers! The title of this tale is…”The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or the Roly Poly pudding.” Of course you can’t leave this place without a little book and I bought myself this very tale as it has images that will remind me of the house…as the setting of this tale is this house!
Read the complete story here on this link.
‘Tea time at Hill Top ‘ by..Stephen Darbishire – Image: visitcumbria.com/amb/hilltop.htm
This piece of art gives you a great idea of what the kitchen looks like. I love it!
Beatrix Potter was born on 28 July 1866 in South Kensington, London. She lived a lonely life at home, being educated by a governess and having little contact with other people. She had many animals which she kept as pets, studying them and making drawings.
Her parents took her on three month summer holidays to Scotland, but when the house they rented became unavailable, they rented Wray Castle near Ambleside in the Lake District. Beatrix was 16 when they first stayed here. Her parents entertained many eminent guests, including Hardwicke Rawnsley vicar of Wray Church, who in 1895 was to become one of the founders of the National Trust.
His views on the need to preserve the natural beauty of Lakeland had a lasting effect on the young Beatrix, who had fallen in love with the unspoilt beauty surrounding the holiday home.
For the next 21 years on and off, the Potters holidayed in the Lake District, staying once at Wray Castle, once at Fawe Park, twice at Holehird and nine times at Lingholm, by Derwentwater, famous now for its rhododendron gardens. Beatrix loved Derwentwater, and explored Catbells behind Lingholm. She watched squirrels in the woods, saw rabbits in the vegetable gardens of the big house. She made many sketches of the landscape. They still kept in touch with Rev Rawnsley, who after 5 years at Wray, moved to Crosthwaite Church just outside Keswick.
Rawnsley encouraged her drawings, and when back in London Beatrix made greetings cards of her pictures, and started a book. Rawnsley encouraged her to publish, and eventually Frederick Warne published ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ in 1902. Her third book, ‘Squirrel Nutkin’ had background views based on Derwentwater, Catbells and the Newlands Valley. Fawe Park featured in ‘The Tale of Benjamin Bunny’.
In 1903 Beatrix bought a field in Near Sawrey, near where they had holidayed that year. She now had an income from her books, Peter Rabbit having now sold some 50000 copies. In 1905 she bought Hill Top, a little farm in Sawrey, and for the next 8 years she busied herself writing more books, and visiting her farm. In 1909 she bought another farm opposite Hill Top, Castle Farm, which became her main Lakeland base. Seven of her books are based in or around Hill Top. Tom Kitten and Samuel Whiskers lived there. Hill Top is still as it was then, and is now the most visited literary shrine in the Lake District.
Beatrix Potter married William Heelis, a solicitor in Hawkshead, in 1913. Then started the next stage in her life, being a Lakeland farmer, which lasted for 30 years. The office of William Heelis is now the National Trust’s ‘Beatrix Potter Gallery’.
In 1923 she bought Troutbeck Park Farm, and became an expert in breeding Herdwick sheep, winning many prizes at country shows with them. Beatrix continued to buy property, and in 1930 bought the Monk Coniston Estate – 4000 acres from Little Langdale to Coniston – which contained Tarn Hows, now Lakeland’s most popular piece of landscape.
In 1934 she gave many of her watercolours and drawings of fungi, mosses and fossils to the Armitt Library in Ambleside.
When she died on 22 December 1943, Beatrix Potter left fourteen farms and 4000 acres of land to the National Trust, together with her flocks of Herdwick sheep. The Trust now owns 91 hill farms, many of which have a mainly Herdwick landlord’s flock with a total holding of about 25000 sheep. This was her gift to the nation, her own beloved countryside for all to enjoy. Beatrix was the first woman to be elected president-designate of the Herdwick Sheepbreeders’ Association, which continues to flourish.
Read more on this link…
Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top in 1905 with the royalties from her first few books, written at her parents home in London, but inspired by her annual holiday visits to the Lake District. She visited as often as she could, but never for more than a few days at a time, sketching the house, garden, countryside and animals for her new books.
After she bought the house, she busied herself writing more books, and visiting her farm. In 1909 she bought another farm opposite Hill Top, Castle Farm, which became her main Lakeland base.
Beatrix wrote many of her famous children’s stories in this little 17th century stone house. Characters such as Tom Kitten, Samuel Whiskers and Jemima Puddleduck were all created here, and the books contain many pictures based on the house and garden.
Beatrix bought many pieces of land and property in and around Sawrey, including the Old Post Office, Castle Cottage and a number of small farms. In 1913, aged 47, she married William Heelis in London and moved to Lakeland, living at Castle Cottage which was bigger and more convenient than Hill Top.
When she died in 1943, she left Hill Top to the National Trust with the proviso that it be kept exactly as she left it, complete with her furniture and china.
Roly Poly pudding–from uktvfood.co.uk
200g plain flour
pinch of Salt
1 tbsp Baking powder
50g light brown sugar
5 tbsp Jam, warmed
2 tbsp Milk
1 tbsp demerara sugar
custard, to serve
Method 1. Set the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder.
3. Stir in the suet and sugar.
4. Add enough water to bind to a stiff but not sticky dough.
5. Roll the dough out on a floured surface, until it is about 5mm thick.
6. Spread with warm jam, leaving a border of 1 cm around each side.
7. Roll up loosely and pinch at the ends.
8. Place on the prepared baking sheet and brush with milk. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
9. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
10. Serve hot with custard.
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