WHAT THE DICK­ENS!

Rochdale Observer - - PROPERTY & LIVING -

Keen read­ers of Charles Dick­ens will recog­nise this his­toric street.

Mi­nor Canon Row fea­tures in the fi­nal and un­fin­ished novel he was writ­ing in 1870 called The Mys­tery of Ed­win Drood just be­fore his death in June that year. Within it the street is re­ferred to as ‘Cor­ner’ rather than ‘Row’. The novel is set in the fic­ti­tious town of Clois­ter­ham – a lightly-dis­guised Rochester. It was a city Dick­ens knew well af­ter liv­ing there for 10 years prior to his death, and which fea­tured in two of his other nov­els; The Pick­wick Pa­pers and Great Ex­pec­ta­tions.

In The Mys­tery of Ed­win Drood, Dick­ens says “Mi­nor Canon Cor­ner was a quiet place in the shadow of the Cathe­dral, which the caw­ing of the rooks, the echo­ing foot­steps of rare passers, the sound of the Cathe­dral bell, or the roll of the Cathe­dral or­gan, seemed to ren­der more quiet than ab­so­lute si­lence”.

Mi­nor Canon Row was built in 1723 to house mi­nor clergy work­ing at the cathe­dral next door and, af­ter later fall­ing into dis­re­pair, was bought by a trust in 2008 and re­stored in 2011. One of the houses is now for sale.

Grade I listed No.2 Mi­nor Canon Row which was also the child­hood home of Shake­spearean ac­tress Sy­bil Thorndike, is on the mar­ket for £1.125 mil­lion. It has four bed­rooms, two re­cep­tion rooms, two bath­rooms, a games room and a garage – use­ful in a city with tight park­ing re­stric­tions. More in­for­ma­tion from Jack­son-Stops (020 7664 6646).

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