"The Cat's Eye" - Dr Thorndyke

Post date: 30-May-2013 06:48:43

The request is about the possible inclusion of Weston Turville in a novel published in 1923 and, as I live in Cheshire, any inquiry must be at a distance!

The novel is a Dr Thorndyke detective story written by R Austin Freeman and called "The Cat's Eye". Freeman generally used real locations for his stories, usually in London; in The Cat's Eye he wrote about an ancient manor house which he called Beauchamp Blake, and a nearby pub. It has been suggested that he based them on a house and pub in Weston Turville, which he knew after war service at Halton Camp.

The characters walk through Stoke Mandeville and on reaching the Icknield Way turn on to it, cross the London Road and pass by the reservoir to reach the pub and lodge. The pub is described as half-timbered, with a row of dormer windows in the roof, the manor house as part Jacobean brick, part mediaeval timber-framing. I dare say the buildings are in fact invented, but can you from local knowledge suggest any possible originals?

Yours sincerely,

Mike Andrews m.andrews037@btinternet.com