Roger Deakin: Home of nature author up for sale for £1.5m

The former home of author and environmentalist Roger Deakin has been put on the market for £1.5m.

Deakin, who died aged 63 in 2006, had lived in the 16th Century cottage in Mellis, Suffolk, for almost 40 years.

It was “covered in mouldering thatch” when he found it in 1969, the estate agent said, but later renovated it.

Deakin once wrote of his home: “An old house may be built of the humblest, simplest materials, and, like a bird’s nest, be a thing of great beauty.”

Estate agency Inigo said Deakin was “smitten” straightaway with the farmhouse, which had not been lived in for almost 20 years before he bought it, and by September 1970 was its owner.

After a “whirlwind of restoration and learning of new crafts”, his home was complete by the mid-70s.

In its marketing brochure, the estate agent said: “Set among 12 acres of wide stretching meadows on Mellis Common in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, Grade II-listed Walnut Tree Farm is held in loving reverence by many.

“Known from the eponymous book, Notes from Walnut Tree Farm, the house was the home of the well-loved author, artist and environmentalist Roger Deakin.”

Since his death, the current owners, who spent time at the house as children, have been the “careful stewards” of its heritage, it said.

Deakin, who wrote Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey Through Britain, spoke about his home and its garden on BBC Radio 4 programmes The House and The Garden.

In addition to the house, there are also three other living spaces outside, a railway wagon, an outhouse and a shepherd’s hut.

Inigo said the railway wagon, which was rescued and installed at the farm in the 1980s, had been used as guest accommodation by the current owners, hosting many “Deakinites” on pilgrimage.

While the outhouse “takes in incredible views of the long field stretching to what almost seems the horizon”, the shepherd’s hut was where Deakin often decamped to write and “avoid the permanence of a house which he thought hindered his best inspiration”.

The interiors have been preserved in original form and feature, it added.

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