Devon As Christie’s Home
In 1890, Christie was born in the town of Torquay, on the coast of Devon. This seaside location is popular for its scenic landscape and rolling seas. Its endearing atmosphere is what morphed into the settings for many of Agatha Christie’s novels. It is one place that remained foremost in her heart until she died.
Agatha Christie grew up in a fine Victorian-style villa in Ashfield. The place was on the outer fringes of Torquay, and people could easily walk from here to the seafront and the countryside. Today though, the house’s location is now marked by a blue plaque for the iconic author.
Agatha’s parents had initially planned on settling in America, which was Frederick, her father’s birthplace. However, while Frederick was away in New York for a business endeavour, Clara fell for the romantic atmosphere of Ashfield and purchased it.
Quickly enough, the couple eased into life in Torquay and were known for hosting big dinners. They attended social events, during which time Frederick Miller gained admission into social clubs. Her father was enlisted as a member of the Torquay Cricket Club and the Torquay National History Society at the Torquay Museum. This museum is also where you will find the only gallery in the United Kingdom which was commissioned to honour Agatha Christie.
Agatha’s christening can be said to be quite amusing. Her parents are said to have decided on Agatha’s name when they met someone named Agatha on the way to her christening event. At her birth in 1890, her father paid some money to the All Saints’ Church, whose construction had been finished right before she was born.
Agatha’s novels indicate that she lived a very happy life as a child. Although this was marred by her father, Frederick’s, sad passing in 1901, she made many references to the jolly era of her childhood. Between Agatha and her siblings was an age gap of ten years, so she could not engage them in her more childish fascinations.
To fill this void, Agatha occupied herself with imaginary friends and talking companions. After Clara’s husband’s passing, they kept Ashfield which Christie was known to live in regularly until she sold it in the 1930s.
Agatha’s youth was spent socialising with friends and members of her family. These were people who lived in the locality and families who owned land in Devon. Agatha entertained herself with seafaring, which she enjoyed at Beacon Cove.
One afternoon, she recalls in her Autobiography, she had swum out with her nephew on her shoulders and found herself struggling in the water. She stated that they had to be rescued by an older man who was charged with the huts. The Lucy family were possibly the closest friends of Agatha. She went rollerskating with them on Princess Pier and also had fun on expeditionary trips to Dartmoor.
The eldest son, Reggie Lucy, who had been serving with the army, developed an interest in Agatha when he returned. Although he wasted no time proposing the golf course, which she accepted, Reggie did not feel he should rush her. As such, they delayed for two more years, during which Agatha found another person.