HOLIDAYMAKERS are being offered the chance to stay in the home of A.A. Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh – but it has a dark past.
Cotchford Farm in Hartfield, East Sussex has cemented itself in British history, serving as the inspiration behind the famous children’s book series, and is now available as a holiday let on Airbnb,
A.A. Milne’s son, Christopher Robin, was the basis for the character of the same name in the novels, and the surrounding Ashdown Forest became the setting of the Hundred Acre Wood, where Pooh lives.
However, the six-bedroom property would go on to gain a tragic past as it later served as the home of Rolling Stones founding member Brian Jones, who was found dead on the grounds in 1969.
Jones was found floating in the property’s outdoor swimming pool, where his cause of death was ruled as “death by misadventure“.
Now the property – which appears to still contain the exact pool that Jones drowned in – is available for an eye-watering £919 a night, but requires a minimum stay of three nights for a total of £3,340.
The property itself contains a large, open living space which features cosy wood-panelled walls as well as a giant fireplace in the living room.
Despite the building dating back to possibly the 16th century, the house has been tastefully modernised to fit the vibe of the classic feel of the property.
The exterior of the property is perhaps the most significant aspect of the listing as it offers guests around five acres of garden space as well as the now infamous swimming pool.
The garden also features a full size tennis court, basketball hoops, trampoline and a BBQ and standing heater for outdoor entertaining.
Around the grounds there are several statues of characters from Milne’s series, including Christopher Robin, Owl and a sundial carved with images of Piglet, Tigger and Roo.
It also features the words: “This warm and sunny spot belongs to Pooh, and here he wonders what it’s time to do.”
The Airbnb listing reads: “Stay in the historic former home of A.A. Milne, Christopher Robin and Winnie The Pooh.
“You can experience where it all began, up the wooden stairs to sleep in Christopher Robin’s old bedroom, or in the very spot where Milne wrote the stories.
“A stay at Cotchford Farm is a reminder of traditional English country life in a historic home, now with modern facilities.
“At the edge of Ashdown Forest, it’s a short walk to the story landmarks of Pooh Bear such as The Enchanted Place & Poohsticks Bridge.
“Cotchford Farm is a unique Grade II listed farmhouse, spread over three floors with some bedrooms and en-suites tucked under the eaves.
“The original historic features of the house have been carefully restored while modern additions in the bathrooms and reception areas allow for an exceptionally comfortable stay.
“The main reception room, with a large inglenook fireplace, includes the former study where Milne wrote the Winnie the Pooh stories and a collection of first edition AA Milne books.
“One upstairs bedroom was Christopher Robin’s old room and original decorative cupboards painted by Mrs Milne are preserved in the striking master bathroom.
“Above all, Cotchford is a cosy and welcoming country family home as well as an historic building.
“You can sit by the open fire with friends, or curl up on a sofa with a book in one of the sitting rooms, bake bread in the farmhouse kitchen, or explore the winding staircases of the upper floors.
“It is surrounded by a mature country garden of about 5 acres with an outdoor swimming pool and tennis court.
“It is at the edge of the protected Ashdown Forest, home to the 100 acre wood, with open country views over the Forest woods.”
The listing briefly also mentions Brian Jones, reading: “Brian Jones, founding band member of The Rolling Stones, was among the several owners since the Milne family.”
In a video uploaded to TikTok yesterday, Chadbourne Oliver shared the Airbnb listing and recounted its historical significance with the caption: “Absolutely wild that you can rent this.’
He says: “Okay, I have never said this in earnest in my entire life but there is so much to unpack here.
“This is an Airbnb listing for Cotchford Farm which is the historic home of A.A. Milne, the writer of Winne the Pooh.
“He lived here with his son whose real name was Christopher Robin and the surrounding grounds became the Hundred Acre Woods.
“The real life story is pretty tragic.
“As you can imagine growing up Christopher Robin didn’t really like being associated with the little kid, he and his father became estranged and he never visited Cotchford Farm again after his father’s death.
“But, that is not why I’m making the video, this home has another historical significance which is that it was once owned by Brian Jones – founder of the Rolling Stones.
“His untimely death is surrounded by a lot of mystery as it was never really figured out who was responsible and the official cause of death was listed as misadventure – which is true rockstar energy.
“But, back to the Airbnb listing, that is the pool where they found his body floating and I do not mean that there was a pool they renovated.
“Look at the shape of the pool, that is the pool where his body was floating.
“Around the house they have historically significant framed photos including this one which is of the chaos and paparazzi on the morning that he was found.
“There’s this one of Brian posing with the Christopher Robin statue, obviously there’s something especially melancholy about this one, our two sad, lost, lonely, famous boys.”
The video has received over 15,000 likes and more than 170 comments from users left astounded at the history behind the seemingly innocuous holiday let.
One user wrote: “This is quite literally insane.”
Another commented: “That’s actually a reasonable price for 12 people, I’m in.”
Another said: “When I saw the pool and heard Brian Jones I was like oh no.”
One wrote: “You can stay at Brian Jones’ house?!”
Another replied: “Thought this was going to be a cute wee video about Winnie.”
The house itself was sold for £1.8 million back in June 2017.