Gad's Hill Place was a beautiful house Charles Dickens' often spotted on countryside walks with his father when he was young. However, Dickens' family was plagued with financial problems, yet this imposing structure seemed to be part of a different world. His father noted his interest and told Charles that if he "were to be very persevering and work very hard" he might one day live there. He did. He bought the house in 1856 and lived there until his death in 1870.
Gad's Hill has now become a school.
"Bless you, sir," said the very queer small boy, "when I was not more than half as old as nine, it used to be a treat for me to be brought to look at it. And now, I am nine, I come by myself to look at it. And ever since I can recollect, my father, seeing me so fond of it, has often said to me, 'If you were to be very persevering and were to work hard, you might someday come to live in it.' Though that's impossible!" said the very queer small boy, drawing a low breath, and now staring at the house out of the window with all his might. - The Uncommercial Traveller - Travelling Abroad.