George Barker




George Granville Barker is buried at St. Mary's Church, Itteringham, Norfolk, England. His grave can be found in the far corner of the churchyard.

Headstone of George Barker

Barker moved to Norfolk in the late 1960's and settled at Bintry House in Itteringham. The flint and brick farmhouse lies in the village - not far from the church.

He lived here with his novelist wife Elspeth Barker with whom he had 5 children. He also had a relationship with the Canadian poet Elizabeth Smart with whom he had 4 children. (Elizabeth Smart's famous prose poem By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept was inspired by her relationship with Barker.)

In total Barker fathered 15 children and was renowned for his hard-drinking, bohemian lifestyle.

Raffaella Barker (his daughter) wrote about the chaotic life at Bintry House in her semi-autobiographical novel Come and Tell me Some Lies.

Barker's later poetry was inspired by the Norfolk landscape and churches.


St. Mary's Church

Barker's final collection of verse Street Ballads was partly written in Aylsham Cottage Hospital.

His other collections include: Thirty Preliminary Poems (1933), Eros in Dogma (1944), and The True Confession of George Barker (1950).

There is now a biography of Barker entitled The Chameleon Poet written by Robert Fraser.

I enter and find I stand
in a great barn, bleak and bare. 
Like ice the winter ghosts and
the white walls gleam and flare
and flame as the sun drops low

From At Thurgarton Church

St. Mary's Church






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