A private buyer has swooped for the landscape that inspired Viginia Woolf’s most famous novel, To the Lighthouse.
The unnamed buyer, who beat off US and Russian competition to secure the land, now owns a 71 acre plot on an untamed part of the Cornish beach known as Upton Towans. The land stretches from Hale, neat St. Ives, to the lighthouse on Godrevy Island.
The plot homes rare orchids, adders, glowworms and different species of moth. It is also popular with surfers.
With the land comes a key piece of our literary history. Woolf descirbed the summers she spent in Cornwall as ‘the best beginning to life conceivable.’
She describes the beach in To the Lighthouse as ‘a great plateful of blue water’ with ‘the hoary lighthouse, distant, austere, in the midst’.
Dennis Truro, a trustee of the Hall for Cornwall, said: ‘Everyone who comes here is inspired by the vision of this wonderful beach.’
The area has been sold to raise funds for a theatre. Tim Brinkman, director of Hall for Cornwall, said: ‘It’s wonderful that something that inspired literature is going to help provide funds to feed plays and theatrical productions of the future.’
Planning rules forbid the new owner, believed to be a man from Cornwall who is based in London, from building on the land.