Charles Dickens writes David Copperfield

Dickens writes David Copperfield | 1849 | Period: Victorian

Bonchurch in the 1840s was in its hey-day. It became the exclusive holiday retreat of Victorian greats.

The main landowner was the Rev. James White who was a friend of most of the contemporary literary celebrities, including Thomas Carlyle.

When Dickens and his family stayed in Bonchurch in the summer of 1849 they lodged at Winterbourne, a house owned by White. Dickens persuaded a local carpenter to channel the "150 feet" waterfall in the grounds into a shower-bath. You can still see the stream that fed the waterfall, close to the old church of St Boniface.

Dickens worked on his novel David Copperfield from 9am until 2pm. He enjoyed sea bathing and climbed to the top of St Boniface Down every day. He also officiated at the village school's prize-giving.