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Cottage gem in lived in by Lawrence

DH Lawrence lived at a cottage in The Breach, Eastwood, between 1887 and 1891.

Now 28 Garden Road, the cottage is owned by professor Ken Roberts who bought it in the early 1970s for £1,040, on behalf of the Canadian Association for Young Writers.

The property was damaged by fire when Mr Roberts bought it, but he soon brought it back to its former glory, just as it would have looked when Lawrence lived there.

Retired miners in Eastwood helped do the house up and Henry Mein, a Nottingham architect, offered to oversee the restoration. Mr Holmes a local builder was so enthusiastic he dug up quarry tiles from his wife’s prized patio to replace those missing in the backyard.

Nottinghamshire Building Preservation Trust, East Midlands Arts, local councils, libraries and universities also helped restore the cottage and donated the period furniture for inside.

The property has got all the orginal features – the cooker, fire, and even the small brick well in the garden where the Lawrences would have done their washing.

Some say it is more authentic than the birthplace museum in Victoria Street.

Unlike the birthplace museum and Durban House, the cottage is not being owned and managed by Broxtowe Borougn Council, so does not attract as many visitors.

But it is part of the Blue Line Trail, a tour of Lawrence hot spots in the town, and every so often it is visited by schools, community groups and literary enthusiasts.

The Breach

The Breach was made up of both Garden Road and Greenhills Road and the cottages were built by the Barber and Walker families for the miners years ago.

Lawrence’s mum eventually wanted to move from the area in 1881 because she did not like the habits of the people living there.

John Elliott, who owns the original cottage door key used by the Lawrences, said: “The men used to gamble and smoke, the children used to play and the women used to gossip. Mrs Lawrence was an engineers daughter and didn’t like the habbits of those eliving aorund her and that’s why they moved.

“She thought herself a cut above her husband.”

The Lawrence family moved on to number 8 Walker Street, Eastwood, although this is disputed by some, who say it is number ten.

The cottage is known by Lawrence enthusiasts as Sons and Lovers Cottage, because Lawrence writes about it in the novel. It features the Morel family, but the book is autobiographical, and Lawrence is actually writing about his own family.

The Canadian Association for Young Writers bought the cottage to encourage creative writing in Canadian high schools and colleges.

 

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