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Crowdfunding campaign hopes to save William Blakes cottage for nation

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Fundraisers looking to raise £520,000 to buy the house where, he wrote, Heaven opens here on all sides her golden Gates

A campaign to crowdfund the £520,000 needed to buy the cottage on the Sussex coast where William Blake hymned Englands green and pleasant land is due to launch next week.

Blake lived in the thatched cottage in Felpham, West Sussex, between 1800 and 1803, composing much of his epic poem Milton, and the poem which became the much-love hymn Jerusalem, beneath its thatched roof of rusted gold and according to literary legend reading Paradise Lost to his wife Catherine while the pair sat naked in the garden. The property came on to the market last year for the first time since 1928, for an asking price of £650,000; the Blake Society has since negotiated a purchase price of £520,000, which it has until the 31 October to raise. There is too little time to seek the money from more traditional funding organisations, so it is turning to the public.

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