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Famous author’s cottage goes on sale in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 15:51 22 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:15 23 June 2018

Meadow Lea Cottage, Stiffkey, for sale with Brown & Co. Pic: www.brown-co.com

Meadow Lea Cottage, Stiffkey, for sale with Brown & Co. Pic: www.brown-co.com

A pretty flint and brick cottage in Stiffkey, once lived in by Henry Williamson who wrote the novel Tarka the Otter, is for sale along with outbuildings, believed to be the famous author’s writing studio.

Meadow Lea Cottage, for sale with Brown & Co. Pic: www.brown-co.comMeadow Lea Cottage, for sale with Brown & Co. Pic: www.brown-co.com

The Norfolk cottage once owned and lived in by the author of the famous novel Tarka the Otter and outbuildings, believed to include his writing studio, are for sale for the first time ever on the open market.

Meadow Lea Cottage, Church Street, Stiffkey is for sale along with a range of outbuildings, including the brick and flint studio of Henry Williamson.

The three bedroom cottage with a lovely garden and river frontage, apparently attracted many fans of the book over the last 30 years but the owners always resisted having a blue plaque put up.

Henry Williamson, author of Tarka the otter. Pic: courtesy of Brown & Co. www.brown-co.comHenry Williamson, author of Tarka the otter. Pic: courtesy of Brown & Co. www.brown-co.com

A photograph of snowy rooftops with a note written in blue ink, believed to be by Henry Williamson, saying: 'View from bedroom window of the studio (library)' Pic: courtesy of Brown & Co www.brown-co.comA photograph of snowy rooftops with a note written in blue ink, believed to be by Henry Williamson, saying: 'View from bedroom window of the studio (library)' Pic: courtesy of Brown & Co www.brown-co.com

Henry Cockerton, selling the property for a guide price of £575,000 with Brown & Co Cockertons in Holt, said: ”The property is charming and includes a lovely garden, river frontage and the brick and flint studio we believe Henry Williamson used to write in.

“Over the past 30 years the owners have resisted have a blue plaque on the building but I feel now is the time to tell the world!”

Henry Williamson, when he had just bought Old Hall Farm in Stiffkey. Picture: copyright the Henry Williamson Literary Estate www.henrywilliamson.co.ukHenry Williamson, when he had just bought Old Hall Farm in Stiffkey. Picture: copyright the Henry Williamson Literary Estate www.henrywilliamson.co.uk

Meadow Lea Cottage, for sale with Brown & Co. Pic: www.brown-co.comMeadow Lea Cottage, for sale with Brown & Co. Pic: www.brown-co.com

Williamson bought the cottage, part of the then derelict 240 acre Old Hall Farm in 1936 and his experiences there formed the basis of the author’s book The Story of a Norfolk Farm. The cottage was where the author actually lived, being the main house for the farm.

This is the first time ever the cottage has been sold away from the farm. The sale is the result of the owner living abroad but the farm, which now includes converted agricultural buildings, is owned separately. Over the years the cottage was once lived in by a gamekeeper and about 10 years ago, was modernised and has been rented but in recent years, was an occasional residence for the owner.

Meadow Lea Cottage, for sale with Brown & Co. Pic: www.brown-co.comMeadow Lea Cottage, for sale with Brown & Co. Pic: www.brown-co.com

Meadow Lea Cottage, Stiffkey, for sale. Pic: www.brown-co.comMeadow Lea Cottage, Stiffkey, for sale. Pic: www.brown-co.com

London-born Henry Williamson came to Norfolk about a decade after his book Tarka the Otter was published in 1927 and after selling the farm in Norfolk, in 1946, he moved to Devon where he bought a wooden hut where he wrote many of his later books, often sitting alone there for 15 hours a day. This wooden writing hut was granted Grade II listed status by English Heritage in 2014 because of its ‘historical interest.’

Williamson, who wrote more than 50 books, had served on the front line in the First World War, but was granted medical leave after being gassed and despite his attempts to return to fight, close to the war ending, was considered too unfit.

Meadow Lea Cottage, Stiffkey, for sale. Pic: www.brown-co.comMeadow Lea Cottage, Stiffkey, for sale. Pic: www.brown-co.com

Meadow Lea Cottage, Stiffkey, for sale. Pic: www.brown-co.comMeadow Lea Cottage, Stiffkey, for sale. Pic: www.brown-co.com

Meadow Lea Cottage is a charming period brick and flint cottage set in about one third of an acre of beautiful, south facing grounds.

The cottage has a kitchen/breakfast room, a sitting/dining room, three bedrooms and a bathroom. It has frontage onto the river Stiffkey and is within a conservation area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but has potential for extending.

Mr Cockerton added: “The setting is amazing, you approach it down a track, going over a bridge over the river.”

You can contact Brown & Co for more details on 01263 711167. www.brown-co.com

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