In the 18th century Bank House in Wisbech became home to the Peckover family, and as well as providing a family home it housed their banking business, which became a great success. Over time they acquired further land and extended the gardens behind the adjacent properties, and built garden buildings including this striking summerhouse. In 1943 the house and grounds were given to the National Trust by the last surviving descendant, and the property was renamed ‘Peckover House’ to commemorate the family.
Oswell Blakeston (1907-1985), was born Henry Joseph Hasslacher, and created his nom de plume by condensing ‘Osbert Sitwell’, whom he admired, into ‘Oswell’ and adding his mother’s maiden name. He was a British writer and artist with wide interests, and one of his passions was follies; his role in bringing the genre to a wider audience deserves to be better known.