A property listing for a house in Grosvenor Road makes a startling claim. It says the property is:
Can this be true? And if it is, why isn’t it common knowledge?
It’s perhaps surprising, but yes it appears to be true, at least in part. Documents dating from 1869 which were sold by Bonhams for £840, indicated that Dickens’ did purchase a new villa in Grove Road (now presumably Grosvenor Road).
The description of the documents by Bonhams says:
The documents explain, the auctioneer said, that the author acquired an interest in November 1860, that the property was on a new road, was unoccupied and had only recently been built. But there is a mystery over the transaction because the solicitor involved wasn’t Dickens’s usual trusted lawyer. There could however be an explanation, the firm said.
So he owned and may well have stayed at the property, though he may not have occupied it for very long. It is thought by some that he gave readings at an archery ground and lodge which later become Wanstead Quaker Burial Ground, the site of the current Wanstead Quaker Meeting hall on Bush Road.
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