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Poetry plan for historic Stroud home

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: October 14, 2009

Glendower, the former home of poet WH Davies in Watledge.

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Historian and TV presenter Anthony Burton is seeking support to help him save a stone cottage as part of the nation's poetic heritage.

He thinks a trust could be created to raise the money to buy the former Nailsworth home of poet WH Davis and preserve it.

First he aims to raise a petition to gauge if there is enough public support for his idea.

He came up with it after reading about the district council's plans to slap compulsory purchase orders on Glendower in Watledge, Nailsworth, and four other crumbling, historic homes in last week's Stroud Life.

Glendower has fallen into disrepair since WH Davis lived there in the 1930s. His famous poem Leisure is commemorated in a stone tablet in the front wall.

The poet's great nephew Norman Phillips says he has spent £34,000 on the house but the district council yesterday voted to start a long process which could see a CPO issued to force its sale to someone who would renovate it.

If Mr Burton's plan comes to fruition, Glendower could become a focus for students and visitors.

"Part of the cottage could be retained in its 1930s style," said Mr Burton, who lives near Glendower.

"It would highlight the importance of Davis in this area."

Mr Burton is also an advocate for the rights of the elderly and wants to see Mr Phillips rehomed there.

"The council was awarded Beacon Authority status in 2004-05 for services to older people and would, I feel, wish to explore alternatives to compulsory purchase to avoid unnecessary expense and distress to an elderly resident," he said.

Mr Phillips said vandals had broken into Glendower around three years ago and smashed valuables.

He said: "I want to move back in. I've spent a lot of money on it and want to get the kitchen floor done next.

"I had to move out because the beam above the bedroom was being eaten away, then I had a heart attack. It has been my home since 1949."

Yesterday afternoon, Stroud District Council's development control committee voted to prepare reports on Glendower, De Lacy Cottage and De Lacy Hall in Frampton-on-Severn and Brookside in Leonard Stanley ahead of possible CPOs.

A report on Greycroft in Frampton was deferred.

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