Dame Agatha Christie, the famous crime novelist, short story writer and playwright lived in Wallingford for over 40 years on the outskirts of the town and died in her Winterbrook House Home in 1976.
To commemorate her life, Wallingford Town Council has commissioned a life size bronze statue of her, funded by an Arts Grant.
Councillor Steve Beatty who heads-up the project says: “It is fitting that Wallingford has a permanent tribute to Agatha Christie and we hope that the town comes together for a weekend of celebrations”.
The bronze statue will show the Queen of Crime seated on a bench overlooking the Kine Croft, as if drawing inspiration for her next novel.
Figurative sculptor Ben Twiston-Davies, who also designed the Agatha Christie sculpture ‘The Book’ in London, sees the statue as a ‘testament to the power of imagination’, and there are many intriguing details to captivate those who pause to sit next to her.
The bench will be positioned against the backdrop of Wallingford Museum, where visitors will discover a permanent Christie exhibition with corresspondence and pictures from the time she spent living here inconspicuously beside the Thames.
Murder Mystery Weekend Celebrating Agatha Christie – 9-10 September 2023
The statue will be unveiled on Saturday 9th September at 12pm, and a host of creative events will be on offer over the weekend to entertain the local community and visitors alike.
The full schedule – from family fun to talks by historians – and booking information will be available here over the coming weeks. The initial programme includes:
- Immersive Murder Mystery Experiences on the steam-powered Bunkline – a train service which Christie used – organised by the Cholsey & Wallingford Railway.
- A programme of free Murder Mystery films at a pop-up, Open-Air Cinema in Wallingford’s historic Castle Gardens.
- A themed talk by Christie expert, historian, and author Lucy Worsley at the Corn Exchange Theatre, home of the Sinodun Players – the local amateur dramatics society of which Christie was President.
- Shuttle rides on the Bunkline train between Wallingford and Cholsey to visit Christie’s Grave at St Mary’s Church, Cholsey.
- A Murder Mystery themed supper at the Five Little Pigs restaurant, named after Christie’s Poirot novel, with a specially created Killer Cocktail.
- Guided walking tours led by volunteers from Wallingford Museum, re-tracing the town’s links to Agatha and including a glimpse outside her former home, Winterbrook House.