Shaw's Corner

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Shaw's Corner

Ayot St Lawrence

National Trust

Shaw's Corner1.jpg
Grid reference: TL19391666
Location: 51°50’9"N, 0°16’7"W
Built 1902
Website: Shaw's Corner

Shaw's Corner is a modest country house in Hertfordshire, by the village of Ayot St Lawrence. It was the primary residence of the renowned playwright George Bernard Shaw. It is now in the hands of the National Trust and open to the public.

Inside the house, the rooms remain much as Shaw left them, and the garden and Shaw's writing hut can also be visited. The house is an Edwardian Arts and Crafts-influenced structure.


Shaw's Corner was built as the new rectory for the village during 1902. The house was designed by local architects and local materials were used in its construction.[1] The Church of England decided that the house was too large for the size of the parish, and let it instead.

George Bernard Shaw bought it, and it was his home from 1906 until his death in 1950. Shaw, a Dublin Protestant by birth and family, though rather of his own philosophy in adulthood, was one of the great names of literature and fashionable philosophy for most of his life, if now known more for his biting wit than the plays in which he expressed it. Shaw and his wife, Charlotte, relocated to the house in 1906, and eventually bought it and its land in 1920, paying £6,220. At the same time the garden was extended and Shaw bought land from his friend Apsley Cherry-Garrard (a member of Scott's South Pole expedition), bringing the total estate to 3 acres.

Shaw is known to have written many of his major works in a secluded, home-built revolving hut located at the bottom of his garden.[2] The tiny structure of only 64 square feet, was built on a central steel-pole frame with a circular track so that it could be rotated on its axis to follow the arc of the sun's light during the day.[2] Shaw dubbed the hut "London", so that unwanted visitors could be told he was away "visiting the capital".[3]

After Shaw and his wife's deaths, their ashes were taken to Shaw's Corner, mixed and then scattered along footpaths and around the statue of Saint Joan in their garden.[4]


Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Shaw's Corner)