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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 August 2007, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Poet Brooke's birthplace for sale
Rupert Brooke's birthplace
Plans to turn the house into a museum were too expensive
The home where World War One poet Rupert Brooke was born has been put up for sale by the local council.

Brooke, whose most famous work is the patriotic poem The Soldier, was born at 5, Hillmorton Road, in Rugby, Warwickshire, in 1887.

Plans to turn the Grade II-listed house into a museum fell through and it has now been put up for sale for 400,000.

But the sale has been criticised by the Rupert Brooke Society's president Peter Miller as a missed opportunity.

He said: "I just feel angry we had been led to assume that there would be a visitor centre raising not only the works of Rupert Brooke but, apart from Shakespeare, all the writers in the county of Warwickshire.

Rupert Brooke
Rupert Brooke spent the first four years of his life in the house

"This would have been a heritage centre, this would have been an attraction to visitors and it would have encouraged tourism to Rugby.

"I can only say that I think it's a very short-sighted move."

Rugby Borough Council, which bought the property for about 350,000 three years ago, said plans to turn it into a museum had been rejected because it would not have attracted sufficient visitors to break even.

Michael Lenihan, economic development manager, said: "At the moment the house is let but, while we do let houses as a social landlord, it is not our business to let them on a commercial basis.

"It is costing us about 12,000 to 14,000 a year to maintain."

Rupert Brooke spent the first four years of his life in the house and also attended Rugby School, where his father was a schoolmaster.

He joined the Royal Navy at the outbreak of World War One and died from septicaemia after being bitten by a mosquito en route to the Dardanelles in 1915.

The house is being sold via agents Howkins and Harrison.


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