Greenway House and Photo Gallery
Greenway House was the (former) holiday home of Agatha Christie and her second husband Max Mallowan. It is situated on the eastern bank of the River Dart near the town of Galmpton in the
county of Devon. Purchased in 1938, the estate was the summer retreat for the couple. (The Mallowans lived at Winterbrook House in Winterbrook, a small town in the English county of Oxfordshire. This was Agatha's
normal residence when she died in 1976). Greenway House was a white Georgian house that she had always admired since she was young and was happy to hear that it was for sale. It remained in the family after Agatha
and Max passed way. Her daughter Rosalind Hicks and her husband Anthony lived in the house from 1968 until Rosalind's death in 2004, and Anthony's in 2005. It was in 2000 that they decided to give Greenway to the
National Trust, the organization dedicated to heritage and environmental conservation that cares for historic properties (website is at
Agatha's grandson, Mathew Prichard, said that everyone who came to visit Greenway felt welcomed because "it does have a very relaxed feeling about it". Indeed that is the case, as any visitor can see with a tour
of the home and grounds of Greenway. The National Trust has restored and preserved the estate so it reflects what it looked like when the Mallowans lived there in the 1950s. For an overview of the great work and
research done by the National Trust on Greenway, I highly recommend Hilary Macaskill's book Agatha Christie at Home, which is reviewed right here at Hercule Poirot Central. This
book also includes details on the house and grounds of Greenway along with beautiful photographs.
There is much to see from the multi-generational collecting of Agatha's family, starting with her American father Frederick Alvah Miller. The items acquired by the family and displayed at Greenhouse do not just
include those collected by Agatha and Max, but also of Rosalind and Anthony as well. These include ceramics, porcelain, china, and pottery. Also at Greenway are books, artwork, and photography. Everything in
Greenway is peaceful and comfortable as one would expect from a holiday home. For an in-depth look at the ceramics collection of Agatha's and her family, I highly recommend reading this article published by a
curator of the National Trust titled Collecting Ceramics at Greenway. You can also search the family's
collection at Greenway on the National Trust website, but it lacks photos of the collection.
Amongst the rooms at Greenway, what holds particular interest is the library. Mathew Prichard called the library the "social hub of the house". It was used by the Mallowans to entertain family and guests and
Agatha was known to share with her family in this room her latest novel. The library is famous for the frieze on the wall painted in blues and bieges. In 1943, the house was requisitioned for use as officers'
quarters for the United States Navy during WWII. Lieutenant Marshall Lincoln Lee, who was a commercial artist prior to the war, had painted the mural on the library's wall, which served as the recreation room/mess
hall. His mural depicted the journey and exploits of the US Navy flotilla. This Lt Lee was quite surprised to find out that the frieze remained on the library's walls after Agatha and Max reacquired Greenway. Agatha
refused painting over the frieze, pointing out that it serves as a perfect historic memorial. Mr. Prichard said that the library walls gave him nightmares as a child.
The grounds at Greenway include gardens (including ferns and camellias), paths through the woods, a tennis court, stables, the lodge house, a greenhouse, a pet cemetery, a vinery, and the boathouse. Walking past
the battery outside (complete with cannons) one can see the village of Dittisham, situated across on the west bank of the River Dart. The ferry can take pedestrians across the river to Greenway. This battery at
Greenway represents the place where victim Amyas Crale dies in the Hercule Poirot novel Five Little Pigs. Continuing on the path, you will find the boathouse. This boathouse is featured in Agatha's
novel Dead Man's Folly as the location where the first victim is discovered, and deservedly so. A friend visited the estate and commented that the boathouse has a freaky and eerie feeling to it. The
underground storage is frightening and feels haunted. Greenway is the inspiration for Nasse House in the novel and it was used for filming the adaptation of Dead Man's Folly for the television series
Agatha Christie's Poirot that starred actor David Suchet as Hercule Poirot.
Below are photos of the exterior and interior of Greenway House. These are from a recent trip to the estate in March 2020, a week prior to the COVID-19 lockdown in the United Kingdom. These photos are shown here
with the kind permission of Jeff Greenwalt who also contributed to this article.
Special note to those interested in touring Greenway: At this time due to the COVID-19 crisis, Greenway has been CLOSED since March 22. For those of you planning to visit Greenway in the (hopefully) future,
please refer to the National Trust's official website on Greenway for more information including a reopening date.