House That Inspired Peter Pan Saved For Scottish Nation

Moat House in the Scottish town of Dumfries (Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Phris) is said to be the Georgian townhouse and garden that inspired novelist and playwright JM Barrie to write Peter Pan. Its future has now been secured after funding has been found to continue a restoration project that will see the creation of a centre for children’s literature and storytelling. Work is due to begin within months, that will see the creation of permanent and temporary exhibitions, a children’s library, education workshops, a cafe and a shop. A “Neverland Discovery Garden” will also be developed.

James Matthew Barrie (9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937) was born in Kirriemuir, Angus (Scottish Gaelic: Cearan Mhoirea, Aonghas). He is best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan the story of the boy that never grew up. The Scottish writer spent his teenage years in Dumfries and played in the garden of the house with friends Stuart and Hal Gordon, who lived there. The townhouse of Moat Brae was designed by Walter Newall in Dumfries, Scotland and was built in 1823. The property was privately owned between 1823 and 1914, before being turned into a nursing home, which shut in 1997, subsequently the property fell into disrepair. In 2009 plans were underway to demolish the house but it was purchased by the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust before destruction.

The Trust behind the fundraising has said that the new Centre for Children's Literature is due to be open in 2018. JM Barrie died on 19 June 1937 and was buried at his native Kirriemuir.  Before his death he gave the rights to the Peter Pan works to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. His birthplace at 4 Brechin Road, Kirriemuir is maintained as a museum by the National Trust for Scotland.

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