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Nuthanger Farm,

in June 1983.

Sorry, but this should be Nuthanger Farm.
Nuthanger Farm: house and delapidated outbuildings.
From chapter 24, 'Nuthanger Farm':

'Nuthanger is like a farm in an old tale. Between Ecchinswell and the foot of Watership Down and about half a mile from each, there is a broad knoll... stands the farmhouse, with its barns and out-buildings. The house may be two hundred years old or it may be older, built of brick, with a stone-faced front looking south towards the down. On the east side, in front of the house, a barn stands clear of the ground on staddle-stones; and opposite is the cow-byre.'

Nuthanger Farm - if you have seen the film, in which it was very accurately portrayed, this is instantly recognisable. Just compare this with the last moments of the end titles.

It's not stone-faced; it's rather less romanticly cement rendered. Also, the tall chimneys and the stepped roof-line strongly suggest that, apart from the left-hand wing, it was originally thatched. It was also originally not one but two houses, or even three. The righthand house appears to be the least altered as the lefthand house may have had larger ground floor windows fitted, probably some time before the wing, which was never thatched, was added. Even so, the right hand house has been extended. The third house appears to be the smaller section in the middle, possibly with its front door between the remaining two replaced by a window reaching to ground level. Each house had one chimney. The smaller, thinner one to the left of the front doors clearly having been added later, possibly to the centre house.

In 1983 there was no dog kennel in which Bob might have lived. The hutch rabbits, Boxwood, Laurel, Haystack and Clover, would have been housed in a shed somewhere in amongst the out-buildings. For the film the hutch was placed in the byre and more rabbits added. By the time I took this photograph the byre had fallen into disuse and disrepair. I went back a few years later and saw that all the thatch had been removed leaving the wooden frame work. By the way, the 'barn', on mushroom shaped 'staddle-stones' is not really a barn at all, it is a granary; for storing grain, flour and and animal feed. The staddle-stones help prevent rats and mice from getting in.

Even in 1967, Adams said: “Nuthanger
Farm is like a farm in an old tale.” Forty
years on, Watership Down is itself one of
those old tales. Nuthanger is no longer worked as
a farm; it is just a house in the country. The
land around it has long been worked from
other, more modern but distant, farms. By the
mid-eighties the farm outbuildings had
decayed badly and the byre roof
had fallen in.

Blackberry knows all sorts of interesting facts about Watership Down.
Nuthanger from the west.
Nuthanger from the west.
This view is from the north where a steep and rocky footpath that winds up the 'knoll'. Richard Adams can describe many things but the names for topographical features often elude him - this is a quite substantial hill. Compare this view with that seen from the old cart in the film. The sorry state of the byre in 1982 is very clearly evident here. Within two years the lefthand part of the byre had been pulled down. It was not far from this spot, if a little further up hill, that Hazel and Pipkin set out to explore the farm in the film.

You can explore Nuthanger Farm on Google maps.

Nuthanger from the gate.
The approach to Nuthanger from the road.
This was the first photograph I took of Nuthanger farm (in 1981, one of my very first Watership pictures), it is the view from the gate. The Poplar trees which make Nuthanger so visible from the down can be clearly seen to the left of the house (they are just out of shot on the other pictures). This view can also be compared with its film counterpart. From this spot the track runs directly behind you to the road and Watership Down. Paths skirt round the east and west of these famous farm buildings.

You can see more of Nuthanger on another page.

ReturnClick Bigwig here to return to select another location. It might be best to avoid his ears, his fleas live there!