Edith Schnapper and Joy Calvert started their work for Auroville from their beautiful home of Boytons near Saffron Walden in Essex.
Edith and Joy opened up Boytons, a 600 year old farmhouse in 5 acres of gardens and meadows, as an informal Auroville Centre, for holding weekend gatherings for the study of Sri Aurobindo’s writings, for sharing news of Auroville, and for providing hospitality to visiting Aurovilians. They themselves kept up a lively connection with Auroville, supporting many of its projects, and visiting every year until they died. Boytons became a home away from home for many Aurovilians and supporters of Auroville, and one of the earliest AVI International meetings was held there in 1983.
Edith sadly passed away in 1991 and Boytons was reluctantly sold. A piece from the AVI UK newsletter for that year described the place that was so sadly missed:
All of us who have visited, for even a few hours will remember the extraordinary beauty of the house and its gardens, the wonderful stillness, and feeling of light, especially in that most magical of places, Krishna’s Garden. Boytons was an experience which none of us will forget. A small piece of Auroville found in the middle of the English countryside, as many Aurovilians expressed it, an oasis of peace.