Agatha Christie and Torquay - Part 1
Agatha Christie is the bestselling female author of all time. Her books have sold an astonishing 2 billion copies worldwide and she is loved throughout Devon - and the globe!
Agatha was born in Torquay and spent the majority of her life in and around Devon, writing her first book while working in Torquay Town Hall as a nurse during for First World War.
Spending her life in and round the English Riviera gave Agatha the inspiration for her famous crime novels; from the interesting characters, the beautiful scenery, the historic locations and the vibrant local life.
There are many places throughout Torquay and the English Riviera that connect Agatha Christie and her work to the area, some of which we have touched upon below.
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This large Victorian mansion is where Agatha Christie grew up with her siblings Monty and Madge. By all accounts, she had a happy childhood full of magical memories at Ashfield, and lived there until she married.
Ashfield is represented in her book Postern of Fate, as 'The Laurels'.
Unfortunately, Ashfield was demolished in the sixties to make way for a large block of flats, with only a blue plaque remaining to commemorate the childhood home of the most famous female author.
Agatha's father, Frederick Miller helped William Pengelly with finance to excavate the majestic stone age caves of Kents Cavern.
Kents Cavern was represented as 'Hampsley Cavern' in Agatha's novel 'The Man in the Brown Suit'. It is now one of the most important prehistoric cave systems anywhere, being one of only two places in the world that shows evidence of three species of human.
All Saints Church
All Saints is located on Bampfylde Road in Torquay, and is where The Queen of Crime was christened 'Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller'. The Millers were a wealthy family in Torquay and the church was built with their significant resources. Today, you can still see the marble font where Agatha was christened and the church can be visited for Sunday service.
Agatha Christie went to The Moorland Hotel on Dartmoor in 1916 to finish writing her first novel 'The Mysterious Affair at Styles', which was the world's first introduction to her most famous character - Hercule Poirot. If you want to immerse yourself in the wonderful world of the Queen of Crime, you can still stay at The Moorland Hotel today.
These are just a few of the many Agatha Christie landmarks throughout Torquay and English Riviera, stay tuned for part two in a following post.