ESCAPE TO ORWELL'S BARNHILL
Perhaps best known as the home of George Orwell,
this isolated farmhouse, still under the ownership of the Fletcher family,
is where the celebrated author came
to escape the attentions of the London literati
and find the peace and quiet he needed
to write Nineteen Eighty-Four.
To Orwell Today,
Dear Jackie Jura,
I'm the son of Jamie and Damaris Fletcher who you met during your visit to Barnhill*.
My parents have launched a new website [January 2012] -- ESCAPE TO JURA -- for Orwell enthusiasts which covers all aspects of life on the island of Jura -- including the wildlife, walking and Orwell connection -- also provides details on how to rent the house.
Still owned by the Fletchers, the same family that leased it to Orwell in the late 1940s, the house is available to rent by the week and sleeps up to six people.
While the house and its surroundings are remarkably unchanged since the days the author stayed there, we thought we should bring it into the virtual 21st century by putting it on the web.
My grandparents were Orwell's neighbours on the island. Although the house is quite primitive in some ways, it remains very popular with the whole Fletcher family and we hope that the website might encourage more people -- whether Orwell acolytes, fishing enthusiasts or those merely seeking seclusion -- to come and stay in the splendid isolation of Barnhill.
For more details please see ESCAPE TO BARNHILL -- Barnhill is just as secluded as it was in Orwell's time - and you'll still need a boat or a 4x4 to get there. In keeping with its heroic isolation, you'll rely on a vintage diesel generator for electric light, there's a small, gas-powered fridge, and the coal-fired Rayburn takes care of the hot water. The potent cast-iron stove in the sitting room helps to warm any parts the whisky fails to reach. Because there's pretty much nobody there, the area is a haven for peace-seeking wildlife. A pair of sea eagles nest nearby, and vainglorious stags show themselves to best effect on the skyline. You'll be sharing the garden with the goats as well as the deer, prompting mutual 'And you are...?' interrogatives as you open the back door in the morning. The bay in front of the house provides mackerel and pollock if you’ve got a spinning rod, and if you're a fly fisherman there are nine hill lochs full of brown trout. For those who'd rather roam unencumbered by fishing gear, the caves and arches, the towering cliffs and the raised beaches -- not to mention the Corryvrecken whirlpool -- await you on Jura's uninhabited north and west coasts.
All the best,
Congratulations on the ESCAPE TO JURA website -- the photographs are beautiful!
On the ferry on the way to Jura I read a 1993 booklet -- JURA AND GEORGE ORWELL -- containing an essay written by your grandmother describing her remembrances of Orwell during the years he lived at Barnhill. I've scanned it below to share with readers not familiar with the story.
I think it complements your website nicely and makes it a three-generational Fletcher family project.
All the best,
*Note to readers: I met Rob's parents, Jamie and Damaras Fletcher during my Pilgrimage to Orwell in 2004. See VISITING ORWELL'S BARNHILL
THE REMINISCENCES OF MRS NELSON
(WIFE OF ROBIN FLETCHER) OF ARDLUSSA
~ click on images to enlarge for reading ~
PS - The ESCAPE TO JURA website godcidently launched on the ORWELL TODAY website on January 21st, 2012 -- the 62nd anniversary of Orwell's death a year after leaving Barnhill for the last time -- the writing and typing of "1984" having taken every last ounce of energy he had left in his body.
62nd anniversary of Orwell's death
(Orwell's hospital; Orwell's grave)
ORWELL THE PASSING TRAVELLER
January 21st, 1950-2012
ESCAPE TO ORWELL'S BARNHILL
(found peace & quiet to write 1984)
Jan 21, 2012
HOLIDAY TO ORWELL SCOTLAND HOUSE
(north coast Jura near Corryvrecken whirlpool)
See Scotland Differently, Feb 8, 2015
SIGNED COPY OF 1984 ANYONE?
KITE'S EYE VIEW OF ORWELL'S BARNHILL
POSTCARD FROM ORWELL'S JURA
listen JACKIE JURA INTERVIEW TALKING 1984
ORWELL HOMAGE-PILGRIMAGE APPRECIATION
ORWELL'S JURA HOUSE FROM AIR
ORWELL'S BARNHILL VISITORS
ORWELL JURA WINNER A LOSER
EUREKA! ORWELL'S MOTORCYCLE
ORWELL MOTORCYCLE MEMORIES
ORWELL'S FIRST WIFE'S GRAVE
PETER PICS ORWELL'S WHIRLPOOL
READER RENTS ORWELL'S BARNHILL
ORWELL'S TYPEWRITER MY GRANDFATHER'S
ORWELL'S WIFE'S GRAVE
BARNHILL LAIRD ORIGINS ROOM 101
ORWELL'S MANUSCRIPT OF 1984
ORWELL'S LIFE ON JURA
JOURNEY TO ORWELL'S JURA & VISITING ORWELL'S BARNHILL
PILGRIMAGE TO ORWELL & HOMAGE TO ORWELL
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