Hill Top is a characteristic early seventeenth-century example of Lakeland vernacular architecture. Beatrix Potter (1866–1943) bought it in 1905 whilst still living at home with her parents with the proceeds of her first publicly published book, Peter Rabbit (1902), and a legacy from an aunt. Six of her classic nursery books are set in Hill Top Farm and the village of Sawrey. When she married the local solicitor, William Heelis (1872–1945) in 1913, she moved to Castle Cottage, whilst keeping Hill Top on as a personal retreat. By the time of her death she had amassed and saved over 4,000 acres in the Lake District, all of which she bequeathed to the National Trust. Though an artist herself – as was her brother Walter Bertram Potter (1872–1918), some of whose paintings are at Hill Top – she was not a collector of pictures. Most of the pictures that she did own were watercolours, her preferred medium, apart from a few notable oil sketches by Frederic, Lord Leighton.