Tuesday 13 December 2011

Finding the Treasure Seekers

This autumn, my reading aloud focus has changed from Middle Son, aged 11, to Miss Belle, aged 5 but Middle Son was very keen that I finished reading The Story of the Treasure Seekers,  by E. Nesbit.

In this book, the six Bastable children try to restore the fortunes of their family with sometimes hilarious results.
We finished the book, recently and so set off to find the scene of the book.

 The Bastables lived in a semi-detached house with a portico on the Lewisham Road, near Blackheath. The Lewisham Road was easy to find but finding a semi, with a portico less so. There are many newish houses and flats. Built, I guess, on bomb sites post-war. The Treasure Seekers was published in 1899 so much may have changed since then. We did find a terraced house with a portico.

So on to Blackheath, the scene of many events in the book.

Was this where Lord Tottenham was ambushed?

Now where we really struggled was identifying the Uncle's house. Blackheath seems to have suffered relatively little from bombing. The description is
The cab went right over the Heath and in at some big gates, and through a shrubbery all white with frost like a fairy frost, because it was Christmas time. And at last we stopped before one of those jolly, big, ugly red houses with a lot of windows."

Now, as far as I can see most houses in Blackheath are built of yellow London brick not red brick and most, to my way of thinking, are anything but ugly. I haven't spent ages looking into this but couldn't find out about possible locations on the internet although, presumably, someone must have looked. I did wonder afterwards, whether we should have spent time looking on the Greenwich side of the Heath.
Anyway, here are a couple of possibilities.

Would this be pre-1900?
More likely to have a shrubbery.

If anyone knows, I would be delighted to find out.

This is linked to The Field Trip hop and Fantastic Foto Fieldtrips.


  1. What a great way to incorporate the story, I will have to do this. We haven't read this book yet but it is on my long list of books to read to the children. Thanks for linking up to the Field trip and giving me a new idea for a future field trip:)

  2. Anna-Marie, Blackheath is also a good place for a field trip because it is so close to Greenwich with the Maritime Museum, the Old Naval College (on the site of Greenwich Palace where Elizabeth I was born), the Fan Museum, the Thames and Cutty Sark, the Observatory and the Greenwich Meridian.

  3. I love it!! What a great way to bring a book to life.

  4. this was fun to go through. We're reading the treasure seekers now and the lad smiled at these pictures, though he wished you could have gotten one of where Albert next door was ambushed. :)

    1. Funny! It is all guess work really. We hope to do another trip soon to try to imagine what it would have been like to be the Railway Children.