Changes to Laurie Lee's home 'must be reversed'

Rosebank Cottage Image copyright Jaggery/Geograph
Image caption Views from Laurie Lee's childhood home inspired Cider with Rosie

Changes made to the inside of a listed cottage which inspired Laurie Lee's best-seller Cider with Rosie must be reversed, says the council.

The views from Rosebank Cottage, Slad, which was Lee's childhood home, featured in his 1959 book.

Stroud District Council says changes made inside the Grade II listed building have "harmed" its character.

The owners told the council it was in a "poor condition" when they bought it and they had worked hard to improve it.

But their bid for retrospective Listed Building Consent has been rejected.

The council says adding a partition wall in the attic "has harmed the character of the listed building" and putting in a new staircase had including removing a cupboard and door which had "resulted in the loss of important historic fabric".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Writer Laurie Lee died in 1997 and is buried in Slad churchyard

The owners of Rosebank Cottage have not commented on the decision.

But in their application for Listed Building Consent they said they had worked hard to turn it into a "safe and warm family house" and had obtained listed building consent for other alterations.

Among work the council says must be reversed are the opening up of a fireplace, a new partition wall in the attic which was used to create a study and the widening of an attic window.

A spokesman for Stroud District Council said: "The interior of the building adds much to its historic significance and the preservation of the internal features of interest is important to the preservation of its integrity."

Laurie Lee was born in Stroud in 1914 but his mother Annie later moved her seven children to Bank Cottages in Slad.

The views from his childhood home - which later became known as Rosebank Cottage - and the woodland that surrounded it would become central to his best-known work, Cider With Rosie, published in 1959.

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