Historic home of Black Beauty author becomes base for horse welfare charity
- Credit: Redwings Horse Sanctuary
The historic home of the Black Beauty author has been given a "fitting tribute" as it is set to become the base for a Norfolk horse charity.
Redwings Horse Sanctuary has been announced as the new "guardian" of the Anna Sewell House in Great Yarmouth.
The building is owned by a Redwings supporter and horse owner who approached the charity about occupying the property.
Gemma Walpole, executive director for income and engagement at Redwings, said: “It’s so important to the owner that the property be used in a way that’s a fitting legacy to Anna and her work to improve horse welfare so it makes perfect sense for it to be a showcase for the work Redwings does today.
“Black Beauty is one of the most successful novels of all time with over 50 million copies sold worldwide and was one of the first to use an animal as a narrator.
"Anna didn’t write the novel for children. She said that her purpose was to ‘induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses'.
“Decades ago, the current owner’s mother, herself an advocate for animal welfare, convinced her husband to buy the house to protect it, when a fan of Anna Sewell had proposed to dismantle it and relocate it to the US.
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"She preserved the Grade II listed building, which has become a place of pilgrimage for fans of Anna and her novel.
“We could not be more honoured to be able to look after this important building and use it to showcase Anna’s story and share how our work addresses the horse welfare challenges of today.”
Black Beauty was the only book that Anna Sewell published and she died shortly after the novel was released in 1877.
Over 100 years later, in 1984, Redwings was established and it is responsible for more than 2,000 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules across the UK.
Among their rescued horses is Maya, the charity's very own Black Beauty, who lives at the charity's visitor centre in Aylsham.
Redwings will host an official opening on Friday, August 26, and the Anna Sewell House will also open to the public, with the days yet to be confirmed.