A Cranford Walk Around Knutsford, Past and Present

(3) Old Vicarage (Past and Present)

'The little, straggling town faded away into country on one side close to the entrance lodge of a great park where lived my Lord and Lady Cumnor'. Compare Mrs. Gaskell's description from Wives and Daughters with the scene today. It is not so different, though no lords and ladies live there today: Tatton Park alias Cumnor Towers is now a National Trust property.

The elegant house at the corner of Drury Lane and King Street was known as the Old Vicarage and is thought to be the scene Mrs. Gaskell had in mind when she told the story of Peter, the vicar's son dressing up in his sister's clothes and pretending to carry a baby. After his father beat him in front of the crowd who had gathered to watch his antics, he ran away to India. His return at the end of Cranford was a wish fulfillment for Mrs. Gaskell whose only brother disappeared while with the East India Company.



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