Born: February 27, 1847, Coventry, United Kingdom
Died: July 21, 1928, Small Hythe, United Kingdom
Buried: St Paul Churchyard, Covent Garden, London Borough of Camden, Greater London, England, Plot: South wall in silver funeral casket
Find A Grave Memorial# 6162
Spouse: James Carew (m. 1907–1928), more
Movies: Victory and Peace, Her Greatest Performance, Potter's Clay
Children: Edward Gordon Craig, Edith Craig
The home of Victorian actress Ellen Terry, where you can explore the house, cottage garden and even attend a show at the XVII century thatched Barn Theatre.
Address: Small Hythe Rd, Tenterden, Kent TN30 7NG, UK (51.0653, 0.68183)
Type: Museum (open to public)
Hours: Monday through Sunday 11.00-17.00 (managed by the National Trust)
Phone:+44 1580 762334
English Heritage Building ID: 179818 (Grade II, 1950)
Built in the late XV or early XVI century
Smallhythe Place in Small Hythe, near Tenterden in Kent, is a half-timbered house and since 1947 is cared for by the National Trust. The house was originally called “Port House” and before the River Rother and the sea receded it served a thriving shipyard: in Old English hythe means "landing place.” It was the home of the Victorian actress Ellen Terry from 1899 to her death in the house in 1928. The house contains Ellen Terry’s theatre collection, while the cottage grounds include her rose garden, orchard, nuttery and the working Barn Theatre. Terry first saw the house in the company of Henry Irving, the manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London’s Covent Garden, with whom she shared a famous theatrical partnership for nearly 24 years. The house was opened to the public by Terry’s daughter Edith Craig in 1929, as a memorial to her mother. The National Trust supported Craig in her running of the museum from 1939, and took over the property when she died in 1947. There are several paintings by the artist Clare Atwood, one of the romantic companions of Edith Craig. In an adjoining room is a letter from Oscar Wilde begging Terry to accept a copy of his first play. There is also a selection of sumptuous costumes dating from Terry’s time at the Lyceum Theatre. In 1929, Craig set up the Barn Theatre in the house’s grounds, where the plays of William Shakespeare were performed every year on the anniversary of her mother’s death. This tradition continues to this day.
Who: Edith Ailsa Geraldine Craig (December 9, 1869 – March 27, 1947)
Edith Craig was a prolific theatre director, producer, costume designer and early pioneer of the women’s suffrage movement in England. She was the daughter of Victorian era actress Ellen Terry and the progressive architect-designer Edward William Godwin, and the sister of theatre practitioner Edward Gordon Craig. As a lesbian, an active campaigner for women’s suffrage, and a woman working as a theatre director and producer, Edith Craig has been recovered by feminist scholars as well as theatre historians. Craig lived in a ménage à trois with the dramatist Christabel Marshall (Christopher Marie St John, 1871-1960) and the artist Clare “Tony” Atwood (1866-1962) from 1916 until her death. Virginia Woolf is said to have used Edith Craig as a model for the character of Miss LaTrobe in her novel “Between the Acts” (1941.) After Edith Craig’s death in 1947, St John and Atwood helped to keep the Ellen Terry Memorial Museum in operation. Marshall died from pneumonia connected with heart disease at Tenterden in 1960. Atwood suffered a fractured femur, senile myocarditis and heart failure, and died at Kench Hill Nursing Home, Tenterden, Kent, on August 2, 1962. When Edith Craig died she left a request that her ashes be buried with her two lesbian partners. By the time they passed away in the 1960s, Edy’s ashes were mislaid. Dismayed at the loss of her ashes, her two friend opted for burial and they lie side by side next to the gate of the tiny churchyard at St John the Baptist (Smallhythe Road, Smallhythe, Kent, TN307NG), leading to the Priest’s House where they had lived with Edy. A memorial stone to Edith Craig is in the same cemetery.
Queer Places, Vol. 2 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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