Location:   http://jmbarrie.co.uk/view/7299/



«« Click here to go back to your search.





(Photo courtesy of © Camden Archives)

The house in Grenville Street, Bloomsbury, where JMB had lodgings at different times when he first moved to London in 1885. The house was demolished in 1939 and Downing Court now stands on the site.

It was the house mentioned in Peter Pan's introduction in Act I of the play as the inspiration of the Darlings' house:

"The night nursery of the Darling family, which is the scene of our opening Act, is at the top of a rather depressed street in Bloomsbury. We have a right to place it where we will, and the reason Bloomsbury is chosen is that Mr. Roget once lived there. So did we in days when his Thesaurus was our only companion in London; and we whom he has helped to wend our way through life have always wanted to pay him a little compliment. The Darlings therefore lived in Bloomsbury.

It is a corner house whose top window, the important one, looks upon a leafy square from which Peter used to fly up to it, to the delight of three children and no doubt the irritation of passers-by. The street is still there, though the steaming sausage shop has gone; and apparently the same cards perch now as then over the doors, inviting homeless ones to come and stay with the hospital inhabitants. Since the days of the Darlings, however, a lick of pain has been applied; and our corner house in particular, which has swallowed its neighbour, blooms with awful freshness as if the colours has been discharged upon it through a hose. Its card now says "No children," meaning maybe that the goings-on of Wendy and her brothers have given the house a bad name. As for ourselves, we have not been in it since we went back to reclaim our old Thesaurus."