Wendy House

Let’s escape to one of England’s Wendy Houses.

What’s a Wendy House, right?

According to Wikipedia, “A Wendy house or playhouse is a small house for children, large enough for one or more children to enter. Size and solidity can vary from a plastic kit to something resembling a real house in a child’s size. Usually there is one room, a doorway with a window on either side, and little or no furniture other than that which the children improvise.”

Something, oh, like this little dandy on the grounds of Mona Vale, a historic homestead in Christchurch, New Zealand:


Photo by Ann (Helen) Devereux via Wikimedia Commons

Such a playhouse would suit any young Wendy … or Jane, as the case may be.


The original “Wendy House” was, as you might have guessed, built for Wendy Darling in J. M. Barrie’s 1904 play, Peter Pan. When Wendy was shot by one of the Lost Boys, Peter and the boys built a small house around her body, attempting to construct the cottage that their beloved Wendy had once wished for:

“I wish I had a darling house
The littlest ever seen,
With funny little red walls
And roof of mossy green.”


Illustration of Wendy’s house by Alice B. Woodward via Wikipedia

But, just as Peter Pan refused to grow up, even “big girls” hold fast to dreams of dwelling in a cottage like Wendy’s. How can we resist? The temptation is particularly irresistible in the face of houses such as these …


Photo by Len Williams via Geograph.org.uk

That’s beguiling brick Marycot at Chartwell, constructed for Winston Churchill’s youngest daughter, Mary. Below is a whimsical Wendy House on the grounds of Eaton Hall in Cheshire, England.

I think my favorite may be the marvelous Mawley Hall Wendy House in Shropshire, a wooden model of the estate’s summer house, built in the 1970s. It stands about 6 feet tall and contains scaled-down furnishings for little lords and ladies.


Photo by Alan Terrill via Geograph.org.uk

Last on our tour through Neverland is “Y Bwthyn Bach” (The Little Cottage) at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, given to the queen on her sixth birthday in 1932 “on behalf of the people of Wales” and renovated within the past few years by Princess Beatrice.


Photo courtesy of ApartmentTherapy.com

Lucky for us, the video below gives a precious peek inside (!) the queen’s cottage:

Now, if we could just find some of that “Drink Me” potion that shrunk Alice to miniature size …

But (sigh) they probably only have that in Wonderland.

  1. Oh my stars and whiskers! I would have loved such a tiny home as any of those. The greatest gift I was ever given from my grandmommie was a ” real” teepee. It was made of canvas with fairly authentic Indian designs on it. I fairly much lived in it until it finally rotted away from the elements. I was allowed to sleep outside in it year round as long as I could take the cold.
    I also was enchanted by tree houses and was always trying my hand at building them. Not always successfully but much to my pleasure never the less. My last tree house was when I was 13, I was living rather ” wild” that year, as my father had custody of me and hadn’t a clue what to do with an adolescent girl . Finally the neighbors called ,concerned for my ” welfare” and that was the last fun of my childhood. I had to clean up , dress like a girl and be miserable. Sigh.
    Yes, the little queen to be and all those others were so lucky to have their “Wendy Houses”. In my vintage 1921 copy of ” Peter Pan and Wendy ” , with illustrations by Mabel Lucie Atwell, Wendy’s house appears to be built of branches , some with leaves on them and has a green thatched roof.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    What little girl or big girl for that matter wouldn’t just love such a little house to play in? These examples are simply elegant and beautiful!

  3. Pingback: Meet Heather Benning | Raising Jane Journal

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *