My favorite type of home tour ever is when we tour a house that falls into the category of what I think of as a “storybook home.” I love those so much! Don’t ask me to define what a storybook house is because that would probably turn into some rambling, gushing narrative, and in the end, it’s probably a subjective thing anyway. But sometimes you just know one when you see one, know what I mean? I know you do.
The home we are touring today is a storybook house by anyone’s definition. It’s the home where a well-loved storybook was actually written and where the scenes in that storybook were often played out in real life. The title of this post gave it away, we’re touring Cotchford Farm, the iconic home where A. A. Milne wrote the beloved stories of Winnie-the-Pooh. Milne purchased Cotchford Farm as a country home for his family, a place to spend weekends and special times during the spring and summer months.
Cotchford Farm, often referred to as The House At Pooh Corner, is located in Hartfield, East Sussex, England. Milne wrote Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926 and The House at Pooh Corner in 1928. The main character, Winnie-the-Pooh, a naive, thoughtful and steadfast bear, was actually named after a teddy bear belonging to the author’s son, Christopher Robin Mine. Originally, Christopher’s bear was named Edward but he changed the name to Winnie after seeing a bear by that name at the London Zoo.
The Pooh part of the name comes from a swan named, Pooh that they saw once while on holiday. All the other characters in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories came from Christopher’s other toys, Tigger, Kanga, Eeyore, Piglet and Roo except for Owl, Rabbit and Gopher.
The Winnie-the-Pooh stories take place in a forest that was modeled after Ashdown Forest in England, a forest located around one mile north of Cotchford Farm. The locations mentioned in the stories can be directly linked to areas in and around Ashdown Forest like Hundred Acre Wood is really 500 Acre Wood and Galleon’s Leap is the well-known hilltop, Gill’s Lap. Many of the illustrations in the book done by E. H. Shepard, are actual locations in and around Ashdown Forest. I just love knowing that the places in the Pooh books actually exist in real life…makes it all even more special!
Even if the wonderful stories of Winnie-the-Pooh had not been dreamed up here at Cotchford Farm, this home has that “storybook” quality inside and out. Just look at this sweet entrance!
Cotchford Farm is three stories tall and has six bedrooms, three bathrooms and lots of charming features like exposed timbers and beams. When I saw the interior of Cotchford Farm, it reminded me so much of the home built for the movie, The Holiday.
Do they remind you of each other, too? (Picture below is living room in Rosehill Cottage in the movie, The Holiday.)
I love this cozy inglenook fireplace/seating area in Cotchford Farm. Imagine curling up here on a chilly evening with a good book. I’m not sure I’d ever leave.
The kitchen…it appears to have been “modernized” at some point.
Love the farmhouse table in this wonderful paneled dining room. The ceilings feel really low, don’t they? Wonder if they are really low or just seem that way in the photos?
A bedroom at Cotchford Farm…I love the windows in this home…and there are so many! Love a home with lots and lots of windows!
Another bedroom…love the slanted ceiling…darling room!
The gardens around Cotchford Farm are so beautiful!
This home was for sale a couple of years ago. I’m not sure who bought it but I hope they haven’t changed it very much. What a responsibility it would be to own such an iconic home, one where tourists often visit for a sneak peek.
In the garden you’ll find several statues including this one of Christopher Robin. There are several other sculptures and features in the garden that pay homage to the stories of Winnie-the-Pooh.
I was so happy to read, the real toys that inspired the Winnie-the-Pooh stories are on display for all to enjoy at the New York Public Library. Have you ever been to that library and seen them?
Love touring storybook homes? Take the tour of the home created for the movie, The Holiday here: Tour the Adorable Cottage, Rosehill Cottage in the movie, The Holiday
You’ll find additional photos of Cotchford Farm where I found these HERE.