On the edge of the Coate Water Country Park lies the Richard Jefferies Museum. Ricard Jefferies was a mid 19th century nature writer who used his farm life upbringing as inspiration for his work. The museum is actually the farm house that he grew up in. The mission of the museum is “to bring literature, nature, and arts to as many people as possible”.
Perhaps the greatest asset of the museum is that it houses 1st editions of Jefferies’ writings. It additionally has manuscripts, photos, paintings, and memorabilia. Jefferies wrote on a wide range of topics which cater to most audiences. His works include journalism for newspapers, essays and articles for publications, children’s novels, philosophical offerings, and complete novels. All of the above works can be found in the museum.
The museum’s second greatest asset is its location. When combining the beautiful country side with the literature in the museum, one can truly get a feel for Jefferies’ inspiration and passion and how he parlayed it into writing. As stated earlier, the museum is on the edge of the Coate Water Country Park, which is a wonderful leisure park and nature reserve. Walking around the large lake and woods of the park are popular amongst locals and tourists. The park offers peaceful nature experiences and the opportunity to view different types of wildlife. Most of Jefferies inspiration came from this park during the time he spent there as a child and adult. Below are two powerful quotes that were inspired by Jefferies’ time in nature.
“As I move about in the sunshine I feel in the midst of the super-natural: in the midst of immortal things.” – “The Story of my Heart”
“The air, the sunlight, the night, all that surronds me seems crowded with inexpressible powers, with the influence of souls, or existences, so that I walk in the midst of immortal things.” – “The Story of my Heart”
It’s important to note that the museum takes a special interest in youth literature with its’ Mulberry Arts Project. The project offers fun and educating youth events that are held at the museum. The museum is open on Sundays from 2:00-5:00 and the 2nd Wednesday of every month from 10:30-4:00.