Watts-Dunton had suggested to Swinburne a ‘run down’ to Putney for the sake of his health, and had carried him off to his sister’s house, Ivy Lodge, WerterRoad*, off the High Street… There followed the invigorating morning drives to the windmill** on Wimbledon Common, until the poet’s strength had returned sufficiently for him to accomplish the journey on foot. At the same time, Watts-Dunton, with the eye of a born businessman, had noticed a number of handsome villas, large and semi-detached, being built in the neighbourhood. He took a twenty-one-year lease on a spacious new house of this type at the foot of Putney Hill - No. 2 The Pines. Swinburne was to be his sub-tenant.
**(The Windmill has been a distinctive landmark since it was built in 1817 to serve the local community. However it only operated until 1864, when the machinery was removed and it was converted to residential accommodation. In 1976 the first floor was opened as a museum, and this was extended to the whole building in 1998.)
*Ivy Lodge Werter Road Putney. See p23 The Pines by Mollie Panter Downes.
Posted by John Dunn.