Walberswick: Coastal holiday cottages played part in Freud family history
- Credit: Contributed
New connections linking the father of modern psychology with a holiday cottage on the Suffolk coast have been revealed by a group of visiting historians and curators.
The house, in Walberswick, has been confirmed as the rural retreat of Anna Freud, the daughter of Sigmund, who was herself credited as the founder of child psychology. She was said to have declared that the house was “the place of my wishes” after buying it more than 50 years ago.
Bryony Davies, assistant curator at the Freud Museum and leader of the field trip, said they knew there were links connecting the family with the area but had been unable to pinpoint the exact location – until now.
“We knew that Anna bought the property in 1946 and that she cherished both the house and the village,” she said
“In fact, a watercolour picture of the house at Walberswick sat on her desk in front of her writing materials in her London office throughout her working life and continues to be displayed in the museum to this day.
“It was really great to go inside. I don’t think any of us thought we would ever have that opportunity – it made it come alive to see the house inside and out.”
The house on Mill Road, now called Aldebarn, was previously named Far End by Anna.
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She would visit with her friend, partner and co-owner of the house, Dorothy Burlingham, the American psychoanalyst, as an escape from the pressures of their working lives in London.
There, they would invite friends to stay including Princess Marie Bonaparte, Napoleon’s great-grand-niece – also a psychoanalyst.
She kept the house until her death in 1982. It is now a holiday rental property owned by Acanthus, a letting company in Southwold.
Acanthus owner, Rebecca Rix-Meo, said: “We thought it would be rather special to invite the people who run the museum to take a peek but it is also quite wonderful for us to be able to pass on details of its history to those holidaymakers who rent it.”