Milton’s Cottage was built in the late 16th century, most probably for the estate manager of The Vache – once owned by Robert George Fleetwood, one of the Regicides of Charles I.
Fleeing the outbreak of the Bubonic plague in London, Milton came to Chalfont St. Giles with his wife and daughters in 1665, where a house had been secured for them by Milton’s friend and pupil, Thomas Ellwood – who famously referred to it as “that pretty box in St Giles, Chalfonte.”
Although he lived here for less than 2 years, Milton’s Cottage was an important place in the writer’s life: within these walls he completed Paradise Lost and was inspired to write its sequel, Paradise Regained. It was these late, great works that ensured his enduring poetic legacy and universal recognition as one of the world’s greatest writers.
Milton’s Cottage was secured for the nation after a public appeal to prevent it being dismantled and moved to the USA. Queen Victoria opened the subscription list of the purchase of Milton’s Cottage in 1887 and it has been open to the public as a museum ever since.