“The house was so full of personal effects that it had an eerie stillness without the owners being there.”
These are the words photographer Josephine Pugh uses to describe the atmosphere of this derelict manor house in Berkshire, which was abandoned 26 years ago after its last inhabitant died at the age of 96. The present house was built in 1848 on the site of an earlier manor that is said to have been rented in the early 1600s by the poet John Milton. Milton, of course, wrote Paradise Lost – a phrase that could well apply to this once magnificent but now rundown dwelling.
According to some records, Milton lived in a house on the site with his parents and brother Christopher from 1632 to 1638 (his mother died in 1637). However, there are conflicting reports about the exact dates, and the Miltons also had a house in Hammersmith, London. It was during this time that Milton, who had recently received his MA from Christ’s College in Cambridge, chose to do six years of private study – some of it, so it seems, at this very location.
released April 12, 2013
Everything by ML.
all rights reserved