Author Topic: Looking for Black Lake Cottage  (Read 14254 times)

smiles

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Looking for Black Lake Cottage
« on: May 30, 2009, 06:22:44 PM »
Hi all.

I was down in the general vacinity of Tilford today and spent a couple of infuriating hours hunting around for Black Lake Cottage with no joy.

If anyone here could give me some directions I'd be very greatful. Gill be going back that way tomorrow for some Sunday lunch  :)

Thanks

Steve

andrew

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Re: Looking for Black Lake Cottage
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2009, 10:58:27 PM »
I posted a map of Black Lake on this site years ago!  Click on the Boy Castaways tab, and then the link to my own visit to Black Lake in 1976. Alternatively, copy/paste this direct link to the map:

http://www.jmbarrie.co.uk/images/map-black-lake.jpg

It might be a good idea to get permission to wander from the owners who live in the cottage nearby. 

smiles

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Re: Looking for Black Lake Cottage
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2009, 11:41:50 PM »
Thanks Andrew

We managed to find Black Late Cottage today, secure behind its gate.

Black Lake itself was more elusive, I finally tracked it down after buying an AA map in Farnham. As you mention it's on private property and I wasn't sure which cottage to call at, maybe some more research is needed for the next trip.
I did however enjoy a walk with the wife through the 'haunted forest', which at midday in 24 degrees heat didn't seem overly spooky. But there's a rise a couple of hundred yards towards Tilford from Black Lake Cottage that looks very much like the one pictured by JMB in the photo entitled. 'We trained the dog to watch over us while we slept' 

For those forum members within travel distance I recommend Tilford and the surrounding area for a ramble, really beautiful part of Surrey.

Robert Greenham

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Re: Looking for Black Lake Cottage
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2009, 05:32:19 PM »
With respect, smiles, I think it is possible you may have been mistaken about finding Black Lake Cottage.  If, like me a few years ago, you saw a dwelling with the name 'Black Lake Cottage', I'm afraid you were looking at the wrong building. This particular building was, in Barrie's time, a pair of attached cottages known as 'Black Lake', and one of them housed the Lamport family, of which two young sisters worked as domestic servants at the original Black Lake Cottage before the Barries took it over.  One of them, Alice, continued to work there, as an assistant to my grandmother who was Barrie's housekeeper there.

To find Barrie's Black Lake Cottage you need to go down Tilford Road (ie. towards Tilford) a few hundred metres on the same side of the road.  Long before Barrie's time there it, too, had originally been two attached cottages.  When Mary Barrie bought the lease it was already one large-ish dwelling, and over the eighteen or so years that she lived there (nine years intermittently with James, and nine years continuously with Gilbert Cannan) she had it modified and enlarged.  It was further enlarged, modified and subdivided over the intervening years and the present whole structure comprises three dwellings.  You can forget about the third of these - the part farthest from the road (which was built over part of the garden) - but the other two are roughly two halves of what was the Barries' dwelling.  Their present names are: 'Barrie House' (essentially the front portion of the Barries' cottage), and 'Lobswood House' (the rear portion), and they are approached via a shared access and parking area.  There has never been a closed gate there whenever I have passed by or visited.

smiles

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Re: Looking for Black Lake Cottage
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2009, 09:17:39 PM »
Dear Robert

Delighted to hear from you, even if it is to tell me that I visited entirely the wrong place, so much for my imagines of Barrie and Michael on the grass in their Hook and Peter Pan outfits.

The cottage I found was indeed called Black Lake Cottage and stands next to an old pump house right next to the Farnham/Tilford Road (on the left as you drive away from Tilford).

I live in Kingston Upon Thames so it's only a matter of an hour's very pleasant driving to reach Tilford via the Hogsback Brewery  :D

Clearly I need to plan another excursion. I'm not very familiar with the area so will attempt some research based on the kind advice you've given, any further direction would be gratefully received.

Interested to see that you've written on Barrie and have connections to him, I'll follow the link in your signature to explore further.

Regards

Steve

(Apologies for the errors in my original posting....it's been a long day)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 09:26:59 PM by smiles »

Robert Greenham

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Re: Looking for Black Lake Cottage
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2009, 09:08:18 AM »
Contrary to what you may think, Steve, I suspect you were walking in the correct part of the 'enchanted forest'.  As far as I have been able to ascertain, through walking the pine woods in the area, the steep-sided rise in the pine woods, seen in Barrie's photo captioned 'We trained the dog to watch over us while we slept', can only be the hill behind the original Black Lake Cottage, which would have been but a minute's walk from the cottage's extensive garden. I suspect that, in the intervening years, the pines in the photo may have been felled and the area re-planted, such that once more these woods have the same appearance.  You probably noticed, however, that the ground beneath the trees is now extensively covered with two species of bilberry shrubs. The cottage and its garden may be glimpsed at medium range from the lower slopes of this hill and from the track leading from the entrance from Tilford Road (where there is space to park a few cars).

The set of Barrie's photos appear to have been taken (a) in the garden, (b) at Black Lake itself, (c) in the pine woods.  While the public can freely roam the woods on the Black Lake Cottage cottage side of Tilford Road, the woods between the road and the lake are private property and should not be entered without the owner's consent.  I have seen no surviving trace of a specific path which Barrie and the boys might have used to walk between Black Lake Cottage and the the lake.

If you wish to see Black Lake you must first contact the owner.  I'm reluctant to state people's names here. The owner's cottage (which Andrew mentioned) is found within the grounds of his Nurseries whose access is from Tilford Road. A piece of friendly advice: The owner understands well the significance of the lake and will not let you see it unless escorted by him personally. Do not take any photos of the lake unless he allows it, in which case he will insist that the pictures must not be distributed or published.

Good hunting on your next trip!   

smiles

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Re: Looking for Black Lake Cottage
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2009, 12:45:08 PM »
Robert

Thanks.
So it seems that I was within throwing distance of the cottage. We parked the car in the small space off the tilford road, that you mentioned. And then walked right, skirting the hill and running parallel with the road, after a couple of hundred yards we turned back, I could see a garden just ahead but I paid little attention too it....so close.
The rise is fascinating and very un-English, I wonder how it came to be, it seems like a geographical misfit. And yes we did notice the bilberry shrubs, my wife is Japanese and recognised them as the same type used in soup in Japan. We picked a few and made some soup the following day........vile, although the wife enjoyed hers.

I think I will give Black Lake itself a miss. I am curious but I'm not sure I like the idea of being policed, some things are best left to the imagination anyway.


I intend to buy a copy of your book, so I'll be in touch via your website.

Best Wishes

Steve

Hannah High

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Re: Looking for Black Lake Cottage
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2009, 02:48:12 AM »
all this talk about the place, I'm trying to imagine myself there...ah, haunting and sweet dreams!

smiles

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Re: Looking for Black Lake Cottage
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2009, 09:34:10 AM »
Hannah.

Not sure where you're located but if you ever have the chance of visiting, Tilford and the Surrey Hills are a wonderful part of the country. On a weekend they play cricket on Tilford green, overlooked by a nice little pub, a church and bordered on three sides by a wonderful little river ideal for paddling.

« Last Edit: June 22, 2009, 09:43:40 AM by smiles »

Larry R

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Re: Looking for Black Lake Cottage
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2016, 12:06:26 AM »

                                                 I located it on Google Maps and Wikimapia. The Lake is about 560 ft NE of Tilford Road. Wikimapia is a wonderful tool. The Google Maps view look's very scenic.