Agatha Christie's Summer House To Be Opened To The Public

By Graham Spicer | 14 September 2005
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Shows a photo of a three storey white house with a classical facade and ivy growing up it

Agatha Christie bought Greenway House in 1938 as a holiday home. Photo Mark Passmore, Apex News Pix. © National Trust

The National Trust has announced that it plans to open crime writer Agatha Christie’s holiday home in South Devon to the public.

Greenway House, on the banks of the River Dart, dates back to the 18th century and was purchased by Christie in 1938. The Trust is planning to open part of the ground floor of the Grade II listed building to visitors and utilise the top two floors as holiday accommodation, staff areas and storage.

“The Trust hopes to restore the heart and soul of Agatha Christie’s much loved summer home which itself makes a thinly disguised appearance in at least two of her novels,” said Robyn Brown, Greenway Property Manager.

Shows a photo of the hallway and staircase of an old fashioned 1930s or 40s style house with oil paintings and dark wood dressers

After cataloguing and restoration work the house will be opened to the public. Photo Mark Passmore, Apex News Pix. © National Trust

“This will help tell the fascinating story of holidays spent at Greenway by Agatha Christie and her family,” added Robyn.

The house, along with its 30-acre garden and 278-acre estate, was donated to the National Trust by Christie’s family in 2000. The gardens were opened to the public in 2002 and were restored, along with the vinery and peach house, and a network of footpaths added.

Matthew Prichard, her grandson, has been working with the trust to further develop Greenway for visitors by opening the house to the public and also allowing the Trust to display several items and artefacts from her life there.

Shows a photo of the living room of an old fashioned 1930s or 40s style house with a large bookcase lining one wall and many pieces of period furniture and ornaments

Christie's books have sold more than two billion copies worldwide. Photo Mark Passmore, Apex News Pix. © National Trust

Cataloguing these items along with extensive repairs and restoration work to the house is required, which is expected to cost approximately £2.2 million and take at least three years to complete.

“The National Trust has owned Greenway since 2000 and I am indebted to them for taking great care of the estate and opening it up for all to enjoy,” said Mr Prichard.

“I am delighted that they plan to open up the house to the public as well, ensuring the care of the property for future generations to enjoy.”

Known as the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie’s (1890-1976) mystery books have sold more than one billion copies in the English language and a further billion in foreign languages. She is outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare.

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