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  • Location: Rode

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

Why a Booktrail?

1860: A true life murder in 1860 in a beautiful quiet village – the first detective story of its day and the story of the relationship between a wealthy family and a crime that seemed unsolvable.

  • ISBN: 978-0747596486
  • Genre: Non-Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher is a fascinating account of a crime which occurred in 1860 and which shocked the whole of England. 3 year old Saville Kent, son of a well to do British Government Official was found murdered, his small body stuffed in an outdoor privy. The man leading the investigation was Mr Jonathan Whicher. It was the sensationalist tabloid story of its the time and everyone, it seemed, had an opinion on it. It was one of the most infamous murders of the 19th century.

Travel Guide

Road Hill House

Road Hill House is now known as Langham House and can be found in the pretty village of rode in Somerset. Beautiful and quaint you might say, was it not for the infamous murder of 1860. It was in the county of Wiltshire at the time of the murder.

Back in 2010, it was the 150th anniversary of the infamous child murder at Road Hill House and the owners of the house gave a rare opportunity for the public to see the gardens Unfortunately,  I was not able to visit the gardens nor the house but I did get to catch a glimpse of it, and its every big and imposing as it appears in the novel.  The house has seen an increased level of interest since the publication of Kate Summerscale’s book but whilst in Rode, I stumbled across another book on the subject  : Paul Chambers’ ‘Murder Most Foul’ has also been  published about the Rode murder.

Rode Chapel

If you come to Rode looking for the backdrop to a literary mystery you will most certainly find it. I found a lovely corner of a park, picked up my Mr Whicher and started to reread on site. A visit to Rode Chapel on the high street was particular reminiscent of the novel’s events too. A spot of lunch in the local  Cross Keys pub made my literary journey complete and to be honest, most of the village I walked around looked exactly like I imagined it would have back in 1860. I was in the novel; I was there and saw the book come to life right before my very eyes.

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