Hosking Houses Trust
The Hosking Houses Trust is sited in Clifford Chambers and occupies the very smallest property, Church Cottage, beside the churchyard. It was the brainchild of its founder, Sarah Hosking, who is Warwickshire born and bred and who used her retirement to create a haven for women writers. After a career working in the arts, she decided to make a retreat for older women writers (whom she considered a neglected group) and offer a comfortable and private cottage, with bursary money of £1,000 a month which makes it unique in writers' retreats in the UK.
It was inspired by Virginia Woolf's famous book A Room of One's Own which started as a lecture in 1928 and was then published as a book and has never since been out of print. In it, she says that women need a room of their own and £500 a year if they are to write fiction. The Trust has expanded this by adding 'If they are to write anything at all' and, since 2002, an average of six writers a year have been hosted writing fiction and poetry, also biography and history; there have been residents writing about dance and hat-making, film criticism and playwrights, photo-journalists and art historians, performance artists and garden historians.
The other residents of The Square are used to seeing strange women running, walking dogs (pets are welcome) or doing yoga on the garden wall or simply sitting beside the river. Peace and tranquillity are rare qualities in our modern world but they exist here and are shared with a wide, and ever widening, international community.
HHT founder Sarah Hosking with Daisy on look out