This amazing place is credited with housing over 100,000 volumes of quality used books, maps, prints, and more. The bookshop was started in 1979, and by 1982 had moved into a former church from the 17th century. The setting of stained glass, spiral staircase and original pulpit brings that extra ambience to the luxury of being surrounded by books!
Visiting on a chilly January day, the wood stove was much appreciated.
This is a WONDERFUL place to explore—I found some great gifts for myself and my brother—ordinance maps of the areas our distant Mackay family inhabited—unusual and easy to pack!
The second floor offers comfortable chairs for settling in with a book (or two).
My prize of the day, however, was a charming print of The Heather Fairy by Cicely Mary Barker. I was familiar with the work of this author and illustrator from a book we had growing up, but I had not realized how prolific an artist she was.
Living 1895-1973, this English illustrator was best known for her works of fairies and flowers, very popular themes during the early 20th century. I know the book we had certainly engaged my imagination and I still wonder what happened to it. While I’m not sure how we came to have it, I rather imagine my mom got the volume while she was a jewelry design student at the Cleveland Museum of Art in the early 1930s.
Information below is provided by https://flowerfairies.com/.
Since their first publication in 1923, Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies have enchanted both adults and children alike around the world. The botanically accurate drawings in the 170 original illustrations, coupled with the enchanting fairy images based on real children from Cicely’s sister’s nursery school, appeal to our innate sense of magic and wonder.
Originally accompanied by a poem or verse dedicated to the individual Flower Fairy the charming characters and detailed artwork have also been translated into fiction for young readers as well as the New York Times bestselling Fairyopolis series.
She published collections of Spring, Summer, and Autumn Flower Fairies; the Winter Collection was not published until 1985, long after her death.
Flower Fairies™ are tiny creatures (the biggest is only 20cm tall) that live in the tree tops, marshes, forest floor, wayside and gardens. Wherever and whenever a seed sprouts, a Flower Fairy baby is born. Each Flower Fairy lives and sleeps in their chosen flower, plant or tree, and as this grows the fairy grows too.
Each and every Flower Fairy is in charge of looking after their flower or plant; keeping it strong and healthy by making sure it has plenty of sunshine and water to drink, sweeping away dead leaves, and polishing flowers and stems.
In addition to the Fairies of the Seasons, Cicely Mary Barker created Alphabet Fairies, Fairies of the Trees, Fairies of the Wayside, and Fairies of the Garden. Once you start looking, I challenge you to choose your favorite!
You don’t have to be limited to just book format, search and you can find calendars, tea towels, playsets for children (or adults) to create their own fairy garden in the back yard.
At Leakey’s Bookshop it was extremely difficult for me to make a selection from the many prints available, but I finally settled on one of the Summer Fairies, the adorable Heather Fairy.
“Ho, Heather, ho! From south to north
Spread now your royal purple forth!
Ho, jolly one! From east to west,
The moorland waiteth to be dressed!”
I come, I come! With footsteps sure
I run to clothe the waiting moor;
From heath to heath I leap and stride
To fling my bounty far and wide.
So don’t be led astray by the church exterior—come take a magical journey with me inside, and merely pray for a temporal shift in time so you can stay as long as you like, and easily, magically, transport all your purchases home!