Milton’s Cottage was built in the late 16th century for the estate manager of The Vache – a nearby country house once owned by George Fleetwood, one of the people who signed the death warrant of Charles I.
Fleeing the outbreak of the Bubonic plague in London, Milton came to Chalfont St. Giles in 1665, where a house had been secured for his family by Milton’s friend and former 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. It was here that he completed Paradise Lost and was inspired to write its sequel, Paradise Regained – the 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 to purchase of Milton’s Cottage in 1887 and it has been open to the public ever since – making it one of the oldest writer’s house museums in the world.