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Holiday house of Kiwi author Katherine Mansfield for sale, hoped to become writers retreat

There are calls for the Wellington holiday home of revolutionary writer Katherine Mansfield to become a writers retreat.

More than a century old, The Glen on Muritai Road in Eastbourne was rented by Mansfield's parents for several summers when she was a child.

It's on the market, with tenders closing on Tuesday.

Katherine Mansfield
Katherine Mansfield Source: Alexander Turnbull Library

"We all dream as writers that there might be another writers residency in New Zealand," self-proclaimed "late-life" Mansfield devotee and local writer Maggie Rainey-Smith said.

"Some philanthropist with a love of literature might buy it... restore it... I mean there'd be so many volunteers willing to administer it and run it for the person," she said.

Ms Rainey-Smith predicts such an endeavour would attract international and local writers.

"I guess this has this amazing history... It's just the most beautiful setting, isn't it?...The sea, the hills and the bush."

The environment was part of the inspiration for Mansfield's 1921 short story 'At the Bay', written much later while she was ill and living in Europe.

"The big bush-covered hills at the back were smothered. You could not see where they ended and the paddocks and bungalows began," the story reads.

Katherine Mansfield's family spent several summers at 'The Glen' in Eastbourne when she was a child. Source: Eastbourne Historical Society

"I think it was a great moment, her childhood then informed this great piece of writing and other short stories," Ms Rainey-Smith said.

While some features of the house remain the same, including the fireplace, wooden floors and high ceilings, other modified areas are in disrepair.

Tommy's real estate agent Sinead Diederich said about 90 per cent of the people who have come to viewings are aware of the literary link.

Heritage New Zealand's Karen Astwood said the organisation would like the property's heritage to be maintained, as it is identified as a category 2 historic place.

"The building has great potential and would be a fantastic project for anyone keen on restoration," she said in a statement.

Ms Astwood said advice and guidance was on offer from Heritage New Zealand, as well as funding from both the organisation and Hutt City Council, which could be applied for.

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Fans of the writer are calling for the new owners to preserve the home's literary legacy. Source: 1 NEWS