Shaw's Corner - the country home of George Bernard Shaw

Stately Home & Garden

Shaw's Corner - the country home of George Bernard Shaw

Shaw's Corner is an Edwardian Arts and Crafts style house in the small village of Ayot St Lawrence, in Hertfordshire. It was the primary residence of famous playwright George Bernard Shaw for 44 years, and now belongs to the National Trust.

Shaw's Corner was originally built as the new rectory for Ayot St Lawrence in 1902, but the Church of England decided that the house was too large for the size of the parish, and let it instead.

George Bernard Shaw (born 1856) was a playwright and political activist famed for plays such as Pygmalion, Man and Superman, Saint Joan, and Arms and the Man. He rented the house with his wife Charlotte Payne-Townshend in 1906, and eventually bought it in 1920 - buying additional land to extend the garden.

Shaw wrote many of his major works in a secluded, home-built revolving hut at the bottom of his garden. It is only 64 square feet inside and 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.

Apparently Shaw called the hut "London", so that unwanted visitors could be told he was away "visiting the capital".

Shaw left his house to the National Trust and it is kept more or less as it was in his day, with many interior textiles by Shaw's friend William Morris. Visitors can also see the Shaw's well stocked library of books, paintings, portraits, jackets, capes and hats, awards and other memorabilia.

Further reading

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