The Full Story
The Crocodile at D'Oyly Carte Island
D’Oyly Carte Island was the weekend retreat for many of D’Oyly’s famous hotel guests and clients, among them, J.M Barrie who is best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan.
'So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever'..on D'Oyly Carte Island!
A CROCODILE IN THE THAMES
In the Victorian era, the rich and the famous where known to have exotic pets, Richard D'Oyly Carte owned a 2 foot long crocodile on D'Oyly carte island.
In mid June 1897 the crocodile escaped from the island and was reported to been seen disporting itself. D'Oyly Carte offered a reward for capturing and returning the crocodile, just £250 (in todays money).
After an estimated 20-30 days later, the crocodile was captured in a net and it was returned to Richard D'Oyly Carte on D'Oyly Carte Island.
This was covered on the evening newspaper St James Gazette as seen on the left.
D'Oyly Carte commissioned a charming wooden sculpture of his crocodile be carved to be housed in one of the window alcoves at the front of Eyot House, where he resides happily to this day.
How it Links to J.M Barrie and Peter Pan
As J.M. Barrie made regular acquaintance with the Croc, It can be fairly assumed that D'Oyly's beloved pet may well have been the inspiration for the crocodile in Peter Pan.
The Crocodile Enclosure
The sunken pool that housed the crocodile is located at the rear of the island, behind the back garden. The step is what the crocodile would have used to enter and exit the water.Our plans are to refurbish and restore the pool in memory of D'Oyly's reptilian boon companion (also to accommodate any visiting crocodiles in the years to come).
Whether the island will welcome such an exotic permanent resident in the future, however, is yet to be decided..