Patsy Roynon is the daughter of the architect, John Stanley Beard, and has inherited his interest in buildings, and in particular, timber-framed houses. Now retired, she has been a teacher, a Brown Owl and a Justice of the Peace. In 1983 she safeguarded Alan Garner’s occupation of Toad Hall, by becoming a joint owner of the whole property, and in 2007 she donated The Old Medicine House to The Blackden Trust.  Patsy Roynon


Patsy recalls:

It was August 1981; we were visiting Griselda and Alan at Blackden. Griselda and I were sitting at her kitchen table late at night when she mentioned that she was hoping to get someone to buy into the Medicine House project, and that if she couldn’t they would have to sell the whole site. I decided on impulse that I wanted to contribute, although I didn’t say anything straight away. I rationalised the decision later on, and wrote a letter afterwards to offer help.

The Medicine House had bowled me over as a building – the chimney and the spiral staircase. Walking and smelling and feeling the house had got me hooked before Griselda and I ever held that conversation. This house had something different. Something coming through every pore of my skin. It was something about the smell of the Medicine House and the way the sun came in through those old mullioned windows.

I was aware that Alan could write only at Blackden. If he’d had to write in a little house on the edge of Macclesfield, he couldn’t have written the books that he wanted to write. His was special and different writing – and it needed to be done in a special and a different place.