On Wednesday 7 October Dr Hugh Aldington’s third year Paradise Lost class were fortunate enough to visit John Milton’s cottage in Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire.

After some high octane fun on the coach involving a Milton biographical quiz, we arrived in the beautiful village and found the cottage, right opposite the Milton Indian Restaurant. We were guided around the home where Milton and his family lived for year or so when escaping the plague in London by a man in a fantastic woolly jumper who taught us about the political unrest of the Restoration period, where Milton was a marked man due to his Republican sensibilities. From there we were taken into the study where parts of Paradise Lost are thought to have been written.

The study now houses precious first edition copies of the epic poem, as well as Milton’s other works such as  Areopagitica where he argues for freedom of the press. We saw many other artefacts including a replica of Satan’s shield which caused a lot of excitement and also strolled around the garden and even ate of the forbidden fruit in the orchard by a statue of Eve, aptly placed by an apple tree. The day was ended by a tour around the village church which is decorated with murals dating back to the 1400s.

Students at Milton's cottage
Milton's cottage
Garden at Milton's cottage
Church near Milton's cottage
Church near Milton's cottage