Shelley's Cottage

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Shelley's Cottage is a Grade II listed house on Wick Lane in Runnymede, Surrey.[1] The two-storey cottage dates from c. 1800 and is built from red brick with a low-pitched slate roof. It has been extended several times with matching materials in a sympathetic style.[1] The area was known as Bishopsgate in Shelley's time.[2]

It is named for the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who lived at the cottage with his wife Mary Shelley (née Godwin) from August 1815 to May 1816.[1][2] The Shelleys' son, William, was born at the cottage in 1816.[1]

The Shelleys were able to rent Bishopsgate after a revival in Percy's finances due to the death of his grandfather, Sir Bysshe Shelley. After a holiday in Torquay, they came to live at the cottage, on the eastern edge of Windsor Great Park.[3] Little is known about this period in Mary Godwin's life, since her journal from May 1815 to July 1816 is lost. At Bishopsgate, Percy wrote his poem Alastor; and on 24 January 1816, Mary gave birth to a second child, William, named after her father and soon nicknamed "Willmouse". In her novel The Last Man, she later imagined Windsor as a Garden of Eden.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "Shelley's Cottage". English Heritage list. English Heritage. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Lucy Morrison; Staci L. Stone (1 January 2003). A Mary Shelley Encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 45–. ISBN 978-0-313-30159-9. 
  3. ^ Sunstein, 93–94, 101; Seymour, 127–28, 130.
  4. ^ Sunstein, 101–103.


Coordinates: 51°25′59″N 0°35′36″W / 51.4331°N 0.5932°W / 51.4331; -0.5932