Welcome to the Haggs Farm Preservation Society
The Chambers family at Haggs Farm, 1906
The family who inspired Lawrence to write...
D.H. Lawrence found in Haggs Farm, Underwood, Nottinghamshire, the people who lived there, and the surrounding countryside, his “first incentive to write”. The farm and the Chambers family inspired his first novel The White Peacock, provided the models for Miriam’s farm and family in Sons and Lovers and appeared in many of his early poems and short stories. Jessie Chambers was Lawrence's first girlfriend, portrayed as Miriam Leivers in Sons and Lovers; Jessie played a vital role in encouraging his early development as a writer.
From 1901 - 1908 Lawrence visited the farm so regularly that he almost became one of the family and years later still referred to the area as “the country of my heart”. In a letter to David Chambers in 1928 he wrote “whatever I forget, I shall never forget the Haggs - I loved it so”.
David Chambers with Mr & Mrs Wilson. The last tenants of Haggs Farm
Haggs Farm has been uninhabited for over 50 years and is on private land with no public access. Despite being a Grade ll listed building since 1966, the house is in a serious state of disrepair.
Haggs Farm was featured as Save Britain's Heritage property of the month in October 2018. Read more about it here.
The Haggs Farm Preservation Society was formed in March 1986 to encourage the preservation of the farm buildings and to reinforce the vital importance of Haggs Farm to the early formative years of D.H. Lawrence’s development as an internationally renowned writer.
The aims of the Society are:-
- To promote interest in and as opportunity arises, to be actively involved with the preservation of the buildings, with the aim of securing some form of public access.
- To research and publicise the history of the farm, its tenants and the Lawrence connection.
Members receive two newsletters a year as well as regular updates by email. Previously we have joined with the DH Lawrence Society for walks and outings, such as to Newstead Abbey and Nottingham University Manuscripts and Special Collections Department. Please email the membership secretary, Carol Mills, at email@example.com or call 07760113964 for more information.
THE COUNTRY OF MY HEART
Map of Eastwood in the 1900s
"Whatever I forget, I shall never forget the Haggs - I loved it so. I loved to come to you all, it really was a new life began in me there. The water-pippin by the door - those maiden-blush roses that Flower [the horse] would lean over and eat - and Trip [the bull-terrier] floundering round - And stewed figs for tea in winter, and in August green stewed apples. Do you still have them? Tell your mother I never forget, no matter where life carries us. - And does she still blush if somebody comes and finds her in a dirty white apron? or doesn't she wear work-aprons any more? Oh I'd love to be nineteen again, and coming up through the Warren and catching the first glimpse of the buildings. Then I'd sit on the sofa under the window, and we'd crowd round the little table to tea, in that tiny little kitchen I was so at home in."
Miriam's Farm edited by Clive Leivers.
The essays in this collection explore Lawrence’s relationship to Haggs Farm and the family who lived there. They relate the history of the farm and its tenants, and deal with other aspects of the life of the Chambers family, particularly that of Jessie, ‘DH Lawrence’s Princess’.
This is a definitive read for all who want to find out more about this inspiring part of our literary heritage. It is informative, accessible and also moving, including memories of DH Lawrence by JD Chambers and two of Jessie Chambers’ letters.
Copies of 'Miriam's Farm' edited by Clive Leivers, the Society's late honorary president, are available to purchase at a cost of £8.50 plus £2.50 post and packaging.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.