Friday, 7 April 2017

A-Z Challenge 2017 - Houses, some real, some not - 'F'

F - Ferryside

In 1926, when she was 19, Daphne du Maurier's family found Swiss Cottage, a house on the bank of the River Fowey in Cornwall.

Swiss Cottage
Daphne later described that discovery in Vanishing Cornwall:

"There was a smell in the air of tar and rope and rusted chain, a smell of tidal water. Down harbour, round the point, was the open sea. Here was the freedom I desired, long sought-for, not yet known. Freedom to write, to walk, to wander, freedom to climb hills, to pull a boat, to be alone. It could not be mere chance that brought us to the ferry, and the bottom of Bodinnick hill, and so to the board upon the gate beyond that said For Sale. I remembered a line from a forgotten book, where a lover looks for the first time upon his chosen one – ‘I for this, and this for me."  

The house subsequently renamed Ferryside is inhabited today by Daphne’s son, Christopher (Kits).

It was at Ferryside in 1929 that she wrote her first novel, The Loving Spirit, the title taken from a poem by Emily Bronte:

Alas! the countless links are strong
That bind us to our clay;
The loving spirit lingers long,
And would not pass away!

The discovery of the wreck of the schooner Jane Slade in Pont Creek inspired Daphne. The Slade family were shipbuilders in the nearby village of Polruan on the same side of the Fowey estuary as Ferryside. Daphne researched the family and visited their graves at the local church of Lanteglos. In the book, Polruan became Plyn, Lanteglos became Lanoc and Jane Slade became Janet Coombe. The Loving Spirit is a family saga spanning four generations of the Coombe family, shipbuilders and mariners in and around the Cornish village of Plyn. The figurehead from the Jane Slade was later added to the front of Ferryside.

If you look closely you can see the figurehead on the right hand corner of the house, next to the tree.


Deepa said...

Wow, it was and still does look beautiful.
I love to read our posts

F for Favorite Spot

FinnBadger said...

Fascinating that her descendants still live there.

Phillip | F is for Found Poetry (and Fauxhio)

coach-daddy said...

So cool, and such history. When I go to Savannah, I can't help but think of all who have come to those spots before me, and what it might have been like. Glad I ran across your blog from the A to Z Challenge.



<a href="> #AtoZChallenge: F is for Five Foods That Bring Me Comfort</a>

Mail Adventures said...

It's so special to know the history of these houses...!

Eva - Mail Adventures

Jo said...

Coincidence, I have just re-read three of her books Not read the one you mentioned though.

Lovely house.

Raesquiggles said...

How no idea her son was still around. I visited Cornwall for the first time a couple of years ago. Loved it.

Donna B. McNicol said...

Another interesting house & setting with history to intrigue us.

F: Florida & Fontana Dam (NC)
DB McNicol, author & traveler
Theme: Oh, the places we will go!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob - this is a great choice for F ... and thanks for telling us about du Maurier's first book - sounds a fascinating read and history for that era of shipbuilding ... and would give me an inkling about my family's history in St Ives ... I know your love and knowledge about du Maurier ...

Ferryside - lovely setting ... reminds me of so much ... though we rarely went as far 'up country' as this! staying in our Penwith area mostly ...

Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

I meant to add ... that's a great example of tight writing ... so descriptive of the creek and its surrounds: I can 'smell' Cornwall ... love it! Cheers Hilary