Hill Top

(See also Beatrix Potter and Near Sawrey)

Beatrix Potter black and white courtesy Frederick Warne and Co.In 1896 children's author, Beatrix Potter, first saw and fell in love with the 17th century farmhouse, Hill Top, at Near Sawrey. She purchased it in 1905, using the proceeds from her book, Peter Rabbit. Later she described the house ‘as nearly perfect a little place as I have ever lived in’.

She did most of her writing here (13 books, six set at Hill Top), but continued to live with her parents in London, visiting the farmhouse whenever she could.

The house with its roughcast walls and slate roof contains her original furniture, china, pictures, and workroom. Its nooks and crannies and the cottage garden feature in many of her stories and drawings. The Tale of Tom Kitten“, Jemima Puddleduck”, and The Tale of Samuel Whiskers” are three. The Tale of Samuel Whiskers” was a result of her finding rats under the floorboards of the house.

Hill Top courtesy of Barbara BallardWhile at Hill Top, she developed her interest in becoming a farmer. After her marriage to William Heelis, her solicitor, she purchased another farm, Castle Cottage, and moved there.

Potter still kept Hill Top and placed its care in her farm manager's hands. The National Trust has preserved Hill Top and it remains virtually unchanged from Potter's time. Illustrations used in her books are still identifiable both inside and outside the home.

Hill Top
Near Sawrey
Ambleside
Tel. 015394 36269
Fax. 015394 36118
Email: rpmht@smtp.ntrust.org.uk
Open: house, mid March-end Oct, Sat-Thu, 10.30am-4:30pm; shop and garden, second week Feb-end Feb, daily, 10am-4pm; March-mid March, weekends, 10am-4pm; mid March-end Oct, daily, 10.30am-5pm; Nov-third week Dec, daiy, 10am-4pm;
entry by timed ticket only--cannot be booked ahead so arrive early to avoid disappointment as daily tickets limited

Note: Please check opening times and dates before visiting in case of changes.

Photos by Barbara Ballard and courtesy of © Frederick Warne & Co

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