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Work to restore Keats home begins

2 November 07 16:48 GMT

The home of English poet John Keats has been closed to tourists while it undergoes refurbishment to recreate its original decor and look.

A £424,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will go towards funding most of the work at the Grade I listed Keats House in Hampstead, north London.

The restoration project is expected to cost more than £499,000.

Keats lived there from 1818-1820, during which time he composed the famous Ode To A Nightingale.

Public tours of the house are expected to resume next autumn.

'Powerful landmark'

Dr Deborah Jenkins, Head Archivist at the City of London which runs Keats House, said: "The refurbishment work will transform the house, returning it to a design much more in keeping with that which would have been the case almost 200 years ago when John Keats lived there.

"This project will ensure that the house remains a relevant and powerful landmark involving local people," she added.

The interior of the historic house was last renovated in 1976.

Keats lodged in the house with his friend, Charles Armitage Brown.

While living there he fell in love with the girl next door, Fanny Brawne, and they became engaged to be married.

But Keats died in Rome from tuberculosis in 1821, aged 25.

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