Virginia Woolf’s novel To The Lighthouse was inspired by a real-world beach — which sold for £80,000 at an auction today. According to the Daily Mail, “The 76-acre Upton Towans beach in Gwithian, Cornwall, overlooks the lighthouse situated on the headland at nearby Godrevy Island. Virginia Woolf spent many holidays there with her family as a child and the watch tower became the inspiration for her 1927 novel….
“The stunning beach [depicted above] has been owned by Dennis Arbon, a trustee of the Hall for Cornwall, a performing arts venue in Truro, for the past 19 years. But Mr Arbon auctioned off the beach in order to raise funds for the Hall.
“A spokesman for estate agents Colliers CRE said there was a lot of interest in the beach which sold for £30,000 above its reserve price…. Competition between three telephone bidders pushed the final price up at the auction at Portman Square, London. It was bought by a man from Cornwall but based in London.
“However planning rules means he will not be able to build on the land or excavate minerals. The beach must remain public which means the new owner can only make the money back with services such as by selling ice creams and donkey rides.”