Hill Top


Beatrix Potter (1866–1943)
Drawing of Hill Top, Near Sawrey (before renovations), ca. 1905
Ink and graphite
V&A: LC 15/A/1, Given by the Linder Collection


In 1905 Beatrix Potter purchased Hill Top Farm in the small Lake District village of Near Sawrey. Once she moved to the Lake District full-time in 1913, she lived with her husband William Heelis in nearby Castle Cottage, reserving Hill Top as a place to write, draw, and preserve various family heirlooms and trinkets. The bed warming pan, shown nearby, was once owned by Beatrix’s favorite grandmother, Jessy.

This space has been designed to capture the feel and character of Hill Top farmhouse. The wallpaper, one of the earliest designed by the artist William Morris, can still be seen at Hill Top today. The window seat is a conspicuous feature of the seventeenth-century farmhouse and appears in The Tale of Tom Kitten, one of Beatrix’s “Hill Top Tales,” all four of which are available for reading nearby. Objects related to two of these books, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck and The Tale of Samuel Whiskers, show how farm life crept into Beatrix’s fiction.