Saffron Walden MP Kemi Badenoch visited 'Britain's most extraordinary home' in Great Dunmow in aid of English Tourism Week.

Talliston House was created by Dunmow resident John Tarrow, who took a three-bedroom semi-detached ex-council house and transformed it room by room into a magical tourist attraction.

The project took 138 craftsmen, all of whom came from within a 50-mile radius.

Dunmow Broadcast: John Tarrow welcoming Kemi Badenoch and John Davey to Talliston HouseJohn Tarrow welcoming Kemi Badenoch and John Davey to Talliston House (Image: Office of Kemi Badenoch)

On the last weekend of each month, visitors can go on a two-hour tour of the rooms and gardens, followed by refreshments.

They can also book afternoon tea in the Victorian living room or candlelit supper in the Victorian watchtower, or sleep in one of the house's themed rooms - including a Scottish Edwardian bedroom, Moorish bedchamber or Canadian log cabin.

John Tarrow gave Mrs Badenoch and Uttlesford district councillor John Davey a tour of the house and gardens and discussed the opportunities and challenges of running an independent tourist attraction.

Mrs Badenoch said: "From its captivating, themed rooms to its meticulously curated gardens, the house is a testament to the creativity and dedication of its owner, John.

"Like many other attractions in our constituency, it brings visitors from far and wide, supporting our local economy and encouraging people to visit our towns and villages."

The venture extends beyond the house, with John's fantasy novel The Stranger's Guide to Talliston set inside the house and gardens.

The book follows the adventures of a 13-year-old boy who becomes trapped within a labyrinth protecting the last magical places on earth.

John has also published a prequel - The Stranger's Door to Talliston - and will release a guidebook - The Talliston Grimoire - in summer 2025.


John said: "It was a great pleasure to show Kemi around the house and gardens.

"Talliston is an incredible example of what can be accomplished with the power of pure imagination.

"I took the house I could afford and built inside it all the houses I wanted to live in.

"This is what makes the house unique, and brings people from all around the world to see how with inner belief, we can all achieve extraordinary things."