Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Greenway House, the home of Agatha Christie

Piper has been an Agatha Christie fan for as long as I can remember, I think she started reading her books when she was 8 or 9 years old. A few years ago I remember seeing that the National Trust looked after Agatha's holiday home in Dorset so I knew if we were ever nearby we would have to visit!

You have to book the car park in advance-so bear that in mind if you are planning a trip- but there are other ways to arrive at Greenway; you can arrive by boat and steam train. I don't have sea legs so that was ruled out for me and I would have loved to arrive by steam train but our budget didn't allow..

The house and grounds were really busy when we visited, but it was a very warm week in June. The house is full of collections of all sorts of things,, Victorian shell pictures, stamp boxes, pottery, smoking pipes and of course a collection of Agatha's books, first editions all signed by her.

The staff are really great to talk to and I'm not sure what it was about us (it was me, the girls and Ruben as hubby was outside enjoying the sunshine with Loki) maybe the eclectic hair colour collection? Or maybe the rareness of teenagers but all the staff in the downstairs rooms wanted to talk to us. The first room had a really endearing painting of Agatha aged 4 years old, she was slumped in a chair with her doll and looked very bored, as a child of four made to sit for a painting quite would I suppose! The actual doll from the painting was sat in the chair underneath the painting;

She doesn't actually look the same as the doll in the picture but it made me think about Piper and her doll collections at one point and I told the staff member we were talking to about our trip years ago to the Vina Cooke Doll Museum. She said it sounded fascinating. She got talking to us all about our hobbies and in particular Cordelia's art.

The next room we went into was the sitting room and housed Agatha's beautiful piano, I never knew she was a trained concert pianist until the staff in the room told us. She got up halfway though playing ballet music on the piano and said "I've come to talk to you because you look like such an interesting group of people" that made me laugh! We found out that Agatha was home educated too, I think I probably knew that but had forgotten. We were told some wonderful stories about Agatha but I'm not revealing them because it felt like a really special moment being told some secrets!

I think for me a really special moment was seeing Agatha's wardrobe!! It still had her original clothes and some of her daughter's too. I adore vintage clothing and would have loved to have looked through the wardrobe properly and maybe even tried things on but obviously I couldn't. Felt like a magical moment to be stood there though looking at all her dresses.

There were photo's in the gift shop and one in the house of David Suchet who played Hercule Poirot with the staff. He had also signed a copy of a screenplay for one of the episodes that was filmed at the Boathouse. It was the Dead Man's Shoes story. Piper was really excited to be able to visit the boathouse which is in the grounds of the gardens and has stunning views, it was used to film one of the death scenes from the Poirot series.

The battery was referenced in the book Five Little Piggies. The views are stunning from here, you can see right out on to the River Dart.

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