18 May 1999
Dispute over site of Animal Farm

A WIDOW has caused a literary dispute by claiming that the farm where she works was the inspiration for George Orwells novel Animal Farm.

Sylvia Westleys assertion is disputed by Orwell experts, who are preparing to disclose clues suggesting a different location for the original farm.

Adding to the confusion are two other sites with strong claims to be the model for the farm in Orwells 1945 allegory of the Russian Revolution.

Orwell enthusiasts have believed that the location was Manor Farm, which lies close to where the author once lived in the Hertfordshire village of Wallington.

But 79-year-old Mrs Westley has assembled evidence to suggest it is Chalk Farm in the East Sussex village of Willington.

  • The Times 18/05/02/99 page 9