The historic house includes a small balcony where Barrie envisioned the Darling children taking flight
While Peter Pan’s Neverland home can only be reached by following the “second star to the right, and straight on till morning” the route to the home of his creator, Scottish writer J.M. Barrie, is far more down-to-earth: You simply travel to London.
Yet this doesn’t mean that Barrie’s grand Victorian-era house in South Kensington — for sale priced £8.5m ($10.5m) — isn’t out of the ordinary.
The six-bedroom, four-bathroom property — which is just a ten-minute walk from the Kensington Palace home of Prince William and Kate Middleton — still boasts many of its original features, including grand stone mullion windows, ornate cornicing and original solid wood floors.
Its large open-plan living and dining areas also include nearly 10-foot high ceilings and elaborate fireplaces, while its lower level is home to a kitchen, second dining room, and a bedroom with en-suite bathroom.
More crucially, the historic home also features the beautiful top floor balcony that helped inspire Peter Pan’s flying visits to the Darling children, and where Peter would convince Wendy, John, and Michael to take the ultimate leap of faith and fly across the London rooftops.
“Homes with unique history are always bound to generate interest, however, this beautiful period home in South Kensington will strike a unique chord with those who are either still young at heart or never grew old,” says Laura Howard, from online real estate agents Zoopla.
“Being able to read bedtime stories to your children in the same nursery that inspired J.M. Barrie to write his iconic Peter Pan book, will be sure to spark their imagination like no other.”
Barrie himself lived in the house from 1895-1902, and it’s where he wrote fantasy novel The Little White Bird. He then moved to another home in nearby Bayswater, publishing Peter Pan on December 27, 1904.
“[Denis] Mackail’s biography of J.M. Barrie has descriptions of the interior features of both houses,” confirms a spokesperson from the J.M. Barrie Literary Society. “Since Peter Pan was first performed in 1904, some of it will definitely have been written here — though of course Barrie was traveling during the time and will have been working on the play in various other locations.”
During his time at the house, Barrie often visited the many garden squares nearby and it was during one of these trips that he met the Llewelyn Davies family in Kensington Palace Gardens. The children would go on to inspire Peter Pan’s character — a relationship detailed in the 2004 Johnny Depp movie Finding Neverland.
To commemorate this chance meeting, Barrie commissioned a bronze statue of Peter Pan surrounded by squirrels, rabbits, mice and fairies by Sir George Frampton which has stood in Kensington Palace Gardens since 1912.