Fancy owning a piece of Fortean history? Well I can't quite offer it I'm afraid but I can literally offer the next best thing! <Having checked a few things I take it all back - I can offer it - it is indeed number 31 the house of the Wrights that is for sale>
Cottingley is forever in our minds courtesy of Arthur Conan Doyle and the fairy photographs of Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths from 1917 and 1920. There are so many Fortean aspects and indeed cliches in this case that I shall not rehash them here. Cottingley is currently experiencing a bit of a building boom and new streets are being added, streets with names such as Oberon Way, Lysander Way and Goodfellow Close. There is already a Fairy Dell there. But Main Street survives. This is the street where the girls were staying at the time, specifcially in number 31.
Number 31 was sold in July of 2000, for £57 000. But it now appears that next door is up for sale.
A mere snip at £154 995
The estate agent description inlcudes mention of the fairies:
"Access to the garden from the rear of the property which has a history as the garden featured in the Cottingley Fairies Story.
In July 1917, two young girls claimed to have taken photographs of real
life fairies at the bottom of their garden. When the genius behind the
Sherlock Holmes stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, presented the pictures
to the public as evidence of the existence of fairies, the tale of the
two little girls in Cottingley was immortalised. Like a pebble dropped
into the middle of a pond, the Cottingley tale travelled across the
globe and debated by millions. Every few years, the story is
resurrected and once again enchants a generation.
Despite the confession in her twilight years, Frances Griffiths added
another twist to the story when she insisted that although the photos
were faked, she really did see fairies and played with them at the Beck.
Indeed, even today, many people believe in fairies and refute the
evidence held against the photos which were later admitted to have been
fabricated by the girls themselves."
From comparing photographs and maps I believe that the white building to the extreme right of the picture is number 31 itself. <nope 31 is the one for sale>
So - if you want to check out the reality of the Cottingley fairies buy it up now and wander down to the bottom of your garden. Oh and don't forget to invite me along for the upcoming 91st anniversary party!