Talliston House
And Gardens

Behind an arched oak door, set in a thicket hedge in Great Dunmow, lies Talliston House & Gardens. With a name that means ‘the hidden place’, this once ordinary house hides 13 rooms, each set in a different time and place.

Twenty-five years in the making, the project took the UK’s most ordinary house (a three-bedroom, semi-detached, ex-council house in Essex) and transformed it – room by room, by ordinary people on an ordinary budget – into a wonderland of locations.

The idea behind Talliston began when the owner realised the house that he wanted to live in and the house he could afford were very far apart. The eventual quarter-century project was a way of putting those two things together. Now not a single square centimetre of the original house remains –and clearly shows how the home of our dreams can exist in even the most mundane places.

By walking the labyrinth of the house, you find yourself leaving the present, and entering the past. And then – by moving from room to room – you leave the past and enter the future. Step from the Moorish bedchamber into a 1920s study, from a New Orleans kitchen into our Victorian retreat – all just by opening the house’s many doors and seeing what lies behind them.

Still very much a private home, there are still ways to discover the house and gardens. Historic Houses run a monthly Invitation To View tour, or there are private tours for two to four people.

Now completed, the creator has written a fantasy adventure adventure set inside this unique house and gardens. Written under the pen name John Tarrow, The Stranger’s Guide To Talliston follows the story of thirteen-year-old Joe who lives his life hiding in plain sight in an old school bus in the middle of a wooded roundabout. That is until he is led by a mysterious raven to a derelict house that is the gateway to a dark and dangerous labyrinth of doors and rooms.

Whatever your interest, be sure to visit our website to check up on our groups, meetings and events and join the Friends of Talliston on Facebook to keep up with the latest developments.