Motion in battle for home of famous hymn

POET Laureate Andrew Motion has joined the campaign to save the historic Hampstead home of the hymn Morning Has Broken. The owner of a cottage on Perrin's Walk has applied for permission to bulldoze it to make way for new residential proper

Susanna Wilkey

POET Laureate Andrew Motion has joined the campaign to save the historic Hampstead home of the hymn Morning Has Broken.

The owner of a cottage on Perrin's Walk has applied for permission to bulldoze it to make way for new residential properties.

But the building is the former home of writer Eleanor Farjeon, best known for writing the words to Morning Has Broken.


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Artist Henry Holiday, who designed and made the stained glass windows for Westminster Abbey and Ely Cathedral, also lived at the house.

Mr Motion said: "Eleanor Farjeon was a beguiling writer for both children and adults and her most important works were written in this cottage."

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Campaigners to save the cottage at 20 Perrin's Walk say it is also one of the oldest buildings in the area and is of great architectural significance.

Art historian Lyn Wolfson from Church Row, is leading the campaign to keep the building.

She said: "The cottage is a local treasure. English Heritage should be putting a blue plaque on the building rather than it being knocked down. It's a little gem. Things get knocked down left, right and centre and it's amazing that it has survived."

Ms Wolfson hopes to persuade English Heritage to list the building in time to save it from demolition.

Eleanor Farjeon moved into the cottage in the 1920s and wrote numerous celebrated poems and plays there, including Kings and Queens and The Glass Slipper.

She lived there until her death in 1965.

Camden Council keeps an extensive collection of the writer's works because of their special local significance.

Henry Holiday used the cottage as a glassworks during the 19th century producing stained glass windows for various landmarks.

A public consultation about the planning application, which allows people to make objections, finished yesterday.

A Camden Council spokeswoman said: "An application has been received by Camden Council to demolish and redevelop 20 Perrin's Walk.

"The standard consultation process has been followed with this type of application, with letters sent to neighbours giving them three weeks to comment plus a site notice displayed on a lamppost plus comments sought from the local conservation area advisory committee.

"However any late comments received after this date will be accepted and taken account of until the time of determining the application (March 5).

"The application is still being assessed and no recommendation has been given by officers yet. Officers from Camden Council and English Heritage will be undertaking a site visit on February 27."

In March the application will either be refused or recommended for approval at a development control committee at a later date, likely to be in April.

The Ham&High contacted the owner of the property but she declined to comment.

editorial@hamhigh.co.uk

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