Hill Top, Cumbria
Hill Top is a 17th-century house in Near Sawrey near Hawkshead, in the English county of Cumbria. It is an example of Lakeland vernacular architecture with random stone walls and slate roof. The house was once the home of children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter who left it to The National Trust. It is a Grade II* listed building. It is open to the public as a writer's house museum, shown as Beatrix Potter herself would have known it. The address is Hill Top, Near Sawrey, Hawkshead, Ambleside, LA22 0LF.
Hill Top once belonged to Beatrix Potter, the children's author and illustrator known for the series of small format Peter Rabbit books. Potter bought the house and its 34-acre (14 ha) working farm in July 1906 as her home away from London and her artistic retreat. She left the house to the National Trust. The house, farm, and nearby villages feature in Potter's books, The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan, The Tale of Tom Kitten, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck and The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or The Roly-Poly Pudding.
The farm was managed by John Cannon. The wing on the left was built by Potter for Cannon and his family in 1906. The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck was dedicated to his children, Ralph and Betsy, who appear in the illustrations, as does their mother.
Points of interest
The entrance hall retains its original stone-flagged floor. The range seen in many of her illustrations was removed but replaced with an identical one in 1983. The wallpaper was reproduced in 1987 from that hung by Potter in 1906 and covers the walls and ceiling. The longcase clock dated ca. 1785, the Chippendale-style chairs, the Georgian-style dresser, a 17th-century oak press cupboard and other furnishings are depicted in some of Potter's illustrations.
The parlour is distinguished by an Adam style chimneypiece installed by Potter. Furniture of the early 19th century dominates the room and 18th-century English and Chinese porcelains are displayed in a hanging wall cupboard. Potter's 1902 coronation teapot displayed in the cupboard was Ribby's in The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan.
Staircase and landing
The staircase and landing are familiar to the readers of Potter's books. The rail and banisters are probably 18th-century. The walnut longcase clock was made by Schofield's of Rochdale. Other works of art decorate the area. The carpets were woven to match those in The Tale of Samuel Whiskers.
The National Trust also dispays material related to Beatrix Potter at the Beatrix Potter Gallery at Hawkshead.
- Works cited
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