Children in Trees

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Ben Lemmon

Feb 6, 2008
I wasn't entirely sure where to place this question, so I decided that right here might be a good place. This question is a little off the wall, but I don't want to be anachronistic in my writing. In the Edwardian Era, did people ever construct tree houses for children? I know that my grandpa used to have a tree house in his back yard that must have been made in the sixties or seventies. However, I don't know whether or not they went back as far as the Edwardian Era. Any information that could be provided would be greatly appreciated.
Nov 21, 2007
Just to sort of poke in here. I really think parents building their children tree houses was very big, but children making their own club houses were done. This is from the little information that I have.
Jun 11, 2000
I think the Edwardians, or maybe the Victorians, invented treehouses. Here's a brief extract from an article on Edwardian children's books:

The organised camp was different from the tales of children like Bevis, “a Boy”, who made his own stockade and fished from an island in a river, or from the real-life activities of the four beautiful Olivier girls, daughters of the Fabian civil servant Sydney Olivier, who swarmed up trees in their knickers, and played with the precocious David Garnett in a hidden treehouse.

I'm slightly concerned in what way this David Garnett was precocious, given that he was in a hidden treehouse with 4 beautiful girls in their underwear ...

Bob Godfrey

Nov 22, 2002
The Victorians liked to furnish their gardens with 'curiosities', which no doubt included treehouses. I think this sort of thinking took off in the c18th, when those with the means provided their landscaped gardens with follies and hermit caves - complete with hermit if one of the local unemployed was willing to oblige. With my luck I'd have been offered a job as hermit rather than entertainments officer in the treehouse.
May 1, 2004
I wouldn't be surprised if a few boys got into Dad's woodshed or 'visited' a construction site, grabbed a few boards, a saw, a hammer and a few nails, shinned up a tree and made themselves a treehouse. Kids are pretty resourceful.

Kyrila Scully

Apr 15, 2001
South Florida
TARZAN OF THE APES by Edgar Rice Burroughs was published in a magazine in 1912 and in book form in 1914. He had a rather elaborate tree house, so I'm thinking tree houses were not unknown in Edwardian times--maybe even in Victorian times. But as kids will be kids, perhaps tree houses have been around as long as kids have climbed trees and used their imaginations with whatever materials were available to them?
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