About Agatha Christie’s House – Greenway House
Greenway House is a stunning 18th century Grade II-listed Georgian mansion in Devon. Overlooking the River Dart, the picturesque site was once the holiday home of prolific author Agatha Christie and is today full of some of her best-loved possessions.
Greenway House history
Greenway House was first mentioned as ‘Greynway’ in 1493, with a Tudor mansion gracing the site in the 16th century where Humphrey Gilbert (half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh) was born. The present house was built in the 18th century however, and was added to over the next century and a half.
While the house is famed for its beauty and location, another reason draws people from all over the world come to Greenway – it was the holiday home of Agatha Christie, the ‘Queen of Crime’ and one of the world’s most prolific authors. She bought the house in 1938 with her husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan, and lived there until she died in 1976 (and he, 2 years later).
Though it’s widely accepted she didn’t actually write any of her novels at Greenway, it does feature in Five Little Pigs, Towards Zero, and Dead Man’s Folly. With a deep appreciation for the house, Christie once described it as ‘the loveliest place in the world’.
Greenway House today
Today Greenway House is open to visitors and offers a rare insight into Christie’s private life. Each room is packed full of the trinkets she loved, including the dominoes and card games she played in front of the Drawing Room’s fireplace, and her beautiful Steinway piano. Her picnic baskets and walking sticks tell tales of hot, lazy afternoons in the grounds, and since her family were avid collectors there are a staggering 11,000 items in the house to peruse.
You’ll find china, silverware, pottery, tapestries, wooden Maucheline-ware and a lovely collection of Stevengraphs – silk bookmarks or pictures made by Thomas Stevens, a Coventry silk ribbon manufacturer. Of course an intimidating collection of books are also piled high in every available space and on every available surface.
The grounds include a walled garden, peach house, vinery, and a beautiful fernery, as well as a quirky dog cemetery where her pets are buried. Unusually, there is also a Napoleonic-era battery built around 1790 in the grounds, and further along a Boathouse may be found that was the ‘scene of the crime’ in the Poirot mystery Dead Man’s Folly!
Getting to Greenway House
Greenway House is located near Brixham in Devon, and can be accessed from Torquay and Paignton by following the signs to Brixham until you reach the village of Churston. From there brown tourist signs direct you to Greenway House, at which there is parking. The nearest train stations are Churston, 2 miles away, and Paignton, 4.5 miles away. A daily ferry service also runs from Dittisham, where pay and display parking is available at The Ham car park.
In addition to its sandy beaches, ancient coastline and scenic national parks, Devon is home to a number of famed historic sites which attest to its colourful history. Here's our pick of 10 of the best.