Beckfoot is a two-story grey stone house (WH10), the home of the Blacketts (Nancy, Peggy, Mrs Blackett and - sometimes - Captain Flint). It is located on the banks of the Amazon River where it flows into the Lake on the western shore near the northern end, and at the foot of a beck which flows down past The Dog's Home and through the coppice upstream from the house and a pipe (culvert) under the road (PM4). The house may be named Beckfoot after the beck. Up the Amazon River is the Octopus Lagoon and the secret harbour for Scarab (SA21 , PM12).
Upstairs in the house there is a bathroom and four bedrooms: for Captain Flint, Mrs Blackett, Nancy & Peggy, and a spare bedroom. The bannisters and landing overlook the downstairs hall. The Great Aunt uses the spare bedroom in PM (and presumably in SD) (WH10, PM1,2,3,5)
Downstairs there is the dining room, a drawing room with a piano, and Captain Flint’s study. The kitchen & pantry have a passage to the hall and a back door to the yard (PP2,33, PM1,2,3). There is a telephone in the hall (PM1), but the house may not have electric power (either reticulated or from a private power plant) as candles or lamps are mentioned several times (PP3, PM2,16,18). There is a well for water as Nancy says A dowser .... (in the village, who ) long ago he found water for Beckfoot. Before we were born (PP13).
Beckfoot has a pigeon loft located above the stables. In The Picts and the Martyrs there is a new addition to the house (a present from Captain Flint); a trellis work up one side for climbing roses, which Nancy uses as a ladder. In Pigeon Post the house is initially full of paperers and painters and plasterers carrying out general redecoration, except for Captain Flint's study.
The house overlooks the lawn down to the Amazon River riverbank (front) and stableyard with stables and loft (rear). By a corner of the house there is an old stone sundial on the lawn, overlooked by the study and Nancy & Peggy’s bedroom (WH10,PM19). Half the lawn is level where once upon a time people had played lawn tennis or croquet (PM12). On the lawn between the house and the river were a lot of white tents, but the camp fire is not on the lawn but in a little clearing among the bushes a few yards away (PP2).
The Beckfoot boathouse in the Amazon River is where Amazon is usually moored. Also moored in the boathouse are a motor launch and a rowing boat (or a rowing skiff). The boathouse is of stone, with a huge white Skull and Crossbones over the front and a wooden stage along one wall (SA11,19; SD24; PM2). The illustrations show a Wikipedia:gable roof although some show a multigable or M type roof (SD2,21) rather than a single gable (PM12).
The D's rescue the Great Aunt from the houseboat; she asks them Do you know a house called Beckfoot on the other side, beyond the island? ... There is a small river ... They take her on board and put her ashore on the lawn: she says I believe there is quite deep water at the edge of the lawn (PM28). Then they go to the Look-out post on the ridge and promontory above the lawn (PM12), where there is a flagpole (PP2), on which Dick had seen the signal Flag at Beckfoot (promontory) = start for Pole (WH5,24,28). After welcoming the GA, the lawn looked like a football field after the players have all gone home (PM30). It is sometimes a little overgrown with daisies: Daisies, probably .... Ragging mother about them (SD24), unless Great Aunt Maria is at hand to oversee the mowing. Nancy mows a message in the lawn NO GO while Peggy was reading aloud and the Great Aunt's fingers were flickering about her knitting (PM22).
Usually there is one servant at Beckfoot, Cooky (M. Braithwaite); it is not stated whether she lives there or elsewhere.
The Tarboard has been a lively forum for discussing Beckfoot's indoor plumbing.
The original Beckfoot?Edit
Of all the locations in the Swallows and Amazons series, Beckfoot is perhaps the one where there is the least consensus. Some (including Christina Hardyment ) have concluded that the original Beckfoot was Lanehead, home of W.G. Collingwood. Others have suggested Huyton Hill near Windermere, and also Belle Grange near Windermere amongst a number of other houses.