I have taken tour groups to visit Agatha Christie’s home, ‘Greenway’, in Devon. It is one of the National Trust’s most visited properties and you have to arrange a timed visit and get in the door on the exact minute that the rather dragon-like doorkeepers admit you.
However, Agatha adored having different homes as it gave scope to her passion for house-decoration, and the home in which she spent the most time was Winterbrook House in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. The house, which is where she died, was one of her homes for 42 years (from 1934 to 1976). There is good evidence to suggest that the house is the model for Danemead, the home of Miss Jane Marple in the village of St Mary Mead. Agatha Christie is buried nearby.
Earlier this year Winterbrook House went on sale – only £2.75 million. The Wallingford Town Council is hoping to turn the building into an Agatha Christie Centre, with museum, gift shop and café, restoring the house’s interiors to their period appearance, holding performances in the gardens, hosting a scholar-in-residence and holding an annual Agatha Christie Festival weekend. They are asking for donations to help save the house, and the Christie family is on board with the plan.
I have not been able to find the latest update on the fund to learn how it is progressing, but it seems they would love donations. It would be fabulous to have a second museum in the UK to honour the world’s bestselling novelist.
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