Over 100 people were trapped for several hours in Greenway, the former home of famed British mystery writer Agatha Christie, in the English countryside on Friday.
In a series of events which could have been lifted straight out of the pages of one of Christie’s mystery novels, the group of tourists were left stranded after stormy weather knocked down a tree, blocking the road leading down to the property in the county of Devon, southwest England.
Caroline Heaven, a tourist who was visiting Greenway, contacted local news outlet Devon Live to spread the word that roughly 100 tourists were trapped in the grounds of Christie’s former holiday home.
Britain’s National Trust which manages the historic site quickly put a message on its website, announcing that a large tree had fallen on the single-track road leading into Greenway.
A spokesperson for the National Trust said it was aware that there were “visitors, staff and volunteers still at Greenway unable to leave,” adding that the National Trust was “doing everything” to ensure their comfort whilst they waited.
The stranded tourists kept themselves busy, drinking cups of tea in the houses’ tearoom and playing rounds of croquet on the lawn, Heaven told Devon Live.
Heaven, who arrived at the house around 11.30am local time (6.30aET) on Friday, commended the efforts of staff to look after the tourists.
“They are doing a great job, they are giving us free teas and things. It’s a bit bleak,” she remarked.
Christie herself was known to while away the hours on Greenway’s lawns, playing clock golf and croquet and entertaining guests with snippets from her latest mystery novels, according to the National Trust website.
The trapped tourists would also have had the time to explore the estate’s walled gardens and famous boathouse which serves as the scene of the crime in Christie’s novel, “Dead Man’s Folly.”
Despite the seemingly calm atmosphere, some social media users couldn’t help but draw a parallel with Christie’s iconic novel “And Then There Were None,” which sees ten strangers inexplicably invited to a remote mansion off the Devon coast. As members of the party are mysteriously killed off, the group soon realizes there is a killer in their midst.
One social media user shared a link to the Devon Live article with a tweet counting down, “99, 98, 97, 96, 94 (grisly), 93.”. Another user shared the article, advising the trapped tourists to “implement a buddy system immediately.”
However, the tourists ending up meeting a less grisly fate than that of Christie’s characters, managing to leave the estate on Friday evening after local rescue services managed to reopen the road.
Those looking to get a taste of Christie’s murder mystery magic will have to wait a bit longer, however, as the National Trust warned prospective visitors in an update Saturday that Greenway is set to remain closed due to the “extensive storm damage” it sustained.