William Blake’s cottage for sale
Felpham’s green and pleasant house, home to those feet in ancient times
Friday 18 July 2014
The Blake Society is launching a crowd-funding campaign in September to raise money to buy the former country home of William Blake. The quaint Grade-II-listed thatched cottage at Felpham in Sussex has been on the market for £650,000. It is where Blake wrote the poem for the hymn “Jerusalem”, and Felpham is where he was arrested for sedition.
The current owner, Heather Howell, 89, has lived there for more than 30 years, but it has been in her late husband’s family since 1928. It has remained largely unchanged with the same beamed interiors and original doors – even the vegetable patch seen in Blake’s sketches.
When it came on the market last July, neither the English Heritage nor the National Trust stepped in to save it for the nation, as they have done for countless other important homes and buildings. But the Blake Society, which was terrified of an imminent sale, asked the owner to give them time to raise the money to buy it. Howell gave them until late October 2014 and knocked the price down to £520,000.
Speed is certainly of the essence as the Blake Society runs to the rescue to save the cottage in the next few months, aided by “the Blake seven”, a group of locals in Felpham and Bognor, who also want to raise money to help the campaign.
William Blake's illustration of his Grade-II-listed thatched cottage “The Blake Society has negotiated and signed a legally binding option to purchase the cottage,” says Tim Heath, chairman of the Blake Society. “The owner couldn’t find a buyer. The actual premium on the cottage due to the fact that Blake lived there is not much. There are structural problems in the roof which make it difficult for people to get a mortgage ,” says Heath.
The Blake Society aims to raise a third of the money before the crowd-funding campaign is launched, while the Blake seven, headed by Rachel Searle, an economics teacher in Felpham, will run a local festival called Golgonooza in September to boost the fund-raising effort. Searle, who founded the Big Blake Project, which includes the local Blake trail and poetry prize, met the current owner of the cottage who told her that she should get in touch with Heath and join forces to help buy the cottage “for the nation”.
Blake lived in nine houses in his life, all rented. This cottage is one of the last two of his remaining properties that have not been demolished. His former London house in Mayfair, in which the Blake Society occupies the top floor, has a waxing salon in the basement, and a shop.
“It would be a wonderful marriage between the city and the coast if we bought both houses,” says Heath ambitiously. “But the first step is to secure the cottage. It is far cheaper,” he explains.
The Blake Society intends to turn the cottage into “a centre of the imagination”, rather than a museum. It will also be a place artists and writers, “or people who are challenging the status quo”, he says, can go and stay for a few days. Other parts of the cottage will be set up to show how Blake did his work, with a printing press and equipment for engraving and etching.
“The cottage needs to be saved to give people across the world the opportunity to celebrate his work and this place of inspiration,”asserts Tim Heath
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
Life & Style blogs
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...