I’ve been to Hemingford Grey a few times in the last year, and not realised that the manor house overlooking the river there is actually the former house of Lucy M. Boston and the setting for the Green Knowe stories. Not that is, until Emma saw an article about it in a magazine that came free with her Christmas issue of BBC Wildlife. So when we arranged to up and see the family, to see round the house was a must – and what a magical house it is too!

Originally uploaded by shepline on 28 Jan ’08, 9.00pm GMT PST.

Originally uploaded by shepline on 28 Jan ’08, 9.03pm GMT PST.

Formally a Tudor manor, it is the oldest, continually lived in, private house in the country. Moated, it is filled with history, including the three-foot gable wall still visible inside that was pulled down in order to build a new frontage along with an extension that later burned down leaving a rather curious arrangement of brickwork where the upper-floor windows would have been. This house, the actual setting for The Children of Green Knowe stories, it was not, in actual fact used in the stunning (and much under-repeated) BBC adaptation of 1986. Feste’s name plate though was ‘borrowed’ and actually hangs in the hall, and the ebony mouse is in the real attic bedroom where Tolly sleeps and sees the children.

Originally uploaded by shepline on 28 Jan ’08, 9.02pm GMT PST.

Originally uploaded by shepline on 28 Jan ’08, 9.04pm GMT PST.

One of the really special things about this visit is just how special it was for all of us. The series is one of my favourites, and one of Emma’s too, and we watched it again recently (on my ebay bought dvd – ripped from a Betamax recording complete with Andi Peters in the broom cupboard) and see the actual place is almost to be part of the story itself. Wonderful. 🙂