In 1985, when they were 78 and 76 years old respectively, Joanna and Hilary Bourne bought the former school in the village of Ditchling and opened the first museum – Ditchling Museum. The sisters had spent their childhood in the village and attended the school, where they mixed with the children of many of the artists who would eventually be included in the museum’s collection.
Botanical garden with the world’s largest seed conservation project
Open throughout the year, Wakehurst is the country estate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
The varied landscape is of international significance for its beautiful botanic gardens and tree collections, as well as for its science-based plant conservation and research.
St John the Baptist, Clayton, West Sussex is a “little gem”. Nestling below the South Downs it contains significant medieval frescoes covering most of walls. It is well worth a visit and usually open daily.
Magnificent country house and park with an internationally important art collection
The vast late 17th-century mansion is set in a beautiful 283-hectare (700-acre) deer park, landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown and immortalised in Turner’s paintings.
Inside, the house contains the National Trust’s finest collection of pictures, with numerous works by Turner, Van Dyck, Reynolds and Blake, ancient and Neo-classical sculpture, fine furniture and carvings by Grinling Gibbons.
Come and explore this first century home and archaeological site and marvel at the largest collection of early mosaic floors in Britain. Discovered in 1960, the north wing of this remarkable building is an important attraction for anyone interested in learning about Roman life, art and architecture.
Medieval thatched Wealden hall-house and picturesque garden.
This rare 14th-century Wealden hall-house was the first building to be acquired by the National Trust, in 1896.
The thatched, timber-framed house is in an idyllic setting, with views across the River Cuckmere, and surrounded by a delightful, tranquil cottage garden full of wildlife.
Climb to the top of this 1000 year old Norman Castle for stunning panoramic views across Sussex.
The adjoining Barbican House is home to the fascinating Museum of Sussex Archaeology and a mini-cinema which tells the story of Lewes from prehistoric to medieval times.
The earliest reference to a windmill on the present site is from September 1765 when an indenture was made between Viscount Montague and Edward Oram of Clayton. It read: –
‘Lease all that part of ground near to Duncton Gate on which a windmill has been lately erected by the son of the said Viscount and contained in the whole by five rods every way for a term of 99 years.’
The history of Chichester Cathedral begins in 681 when Saint Wilfrid brought Christianity to Sussex and established a Cathedral in Selsey, a small community south of Chichester.
After 1066 the Norman policy was that cathedrals should be moved from small communities to larger centres of population. In 1075 the Council of London established the See of Chichester and in 1076 the building of the present cathedral in Chichester was begun under Bishop Stigand. It was completed under Bishop Luffa in time for its dedication to the Holy Trinity in 1108.
Acres of landscape garden bordered by historic parkland and woodland.
The garden is a horticultural work of art formed through centuries of landscape design, with influences of ‘Capability’ Brown and Humphry Repton. Four lakes form the heart of the garden, with paths circulating through the glades and wooded areas surrounding them.
England’s longest water filled moat surrounds the site which dates back to 1229.
Explore Michelham’s fascinating 800 year history, from its foundation by Augustinian canons, through the destruction caused by the dissolution of the monasteries in Tudor times and into its later life as a country house.
In 1440 a Sussex Knight by the name of Roger Fiennes petitioned the Crown for the right to crenellate or fortify his manor of Herstmonceux.
He had risen to prominence after serving Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt (1415) and later serving as Treasurer of the Household of Henry VI. He had amassed a considerable fortune and had decided to use it to construct a castle befitting of his family’s new found importance.
The building was at the time the largest private home in England, and since it adopted the French fashion of building in brick, the castle of Herstmonceux was unique.
Nestling in the foot of the beautiful South Downs, just to the north of Brighton, Clayton Tunnel North Portal is a truly unique building. Every day hundreds of trains hurtle under this Gothic folly whose imposing castellated towers protect the old tunnel keeper’s cottage.
An enchanting historic 15th century timber-framed house, with magnificent gardens, in the picturesque award-winning downland village of Bramber, West Sussex … a place of fascination and mystery.
At Anne of Cleves House you can explore how the Tudors and Elizabethans lived, worked and relaxed at home.
Find out about the part played by this beautiful medieval house in the story of one of England’s most famous kings, Henry VIII. Other highlights include the authentically furnished kitchen and the garden which uses traditional plants and Tudor planting schemes.
Leonard and Virginia Woolf’s 17th-century country retreat.
Nestled in the heart of rural Sussex, Monk’s House is a tranquil 17th-century weatherboarded cottage inhabited by Leonard and the novelist Virginia Woolf from 1919 until Leonards death in 1969.
For a memorable family day out in Sussex explore Battle Abbey and Battlefield, the site of the 1066 Battle of Hastings. Discover more about the most famous date in English history while walking in the steps of King Harold and William the Conqueror.
Welcome to Parham. It has always been a well-loved family home, and only three families have lived here since its foundation stone was laid in 1577 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
Outstanding 20th-century garden, set around a romantic house and ruins, in beautiful woodland.
In the late 1800s Ludwig Messel bought the Nymans Estate in the Sussex High Weald to make a dream family home. Inspired by the wooded surroundings he created a garden with plants collected from around the world.
Traditional buildings in a rural landscape that tell the story of the men, women and children who lived and worked in them over a 600-year period.
You can explore the 50-acre site and visit some of our 50 exhibit buildings. Many of our exhibit houses are furnished to recreate historic domestic interiors.
Archetypal 14th century moated castle with ruined interior – a glimpse of medieval splendour.
Set in the heart of an historic landscape, with spiral staircases, battlements and a portcullis, 14th century Bodiam Castle is one of Britain’s most picturesque and romantic ancient monuments. Windows where arrows were once fired, a tower that was once a look-out and ruins that were once walked upon by knights; this is a place where you can relive your childhood memories and let your imagination run riot.
Set high on a hill in West Sussex, this great Castle commands the landscape with magnificent views across the South Downs and the River Arun.
Built at the end of the 11th Century, it has been the family home of the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors for nearly 1000 years.
The Long Man of Wilmington, mysterious guardian of the South Downs, who has baffled archaeologists and historians for hundreds of years.
Until recently, it was believed that the earliest record of Europe’s largest representation of the human form was a drawing dated to 1766.
As seen on BBC2′s ‘Antiques Road Trip’.
The only one of its kind open to the public, this beautiful 15th century Wealden hall house stands in a traditional cottage garden on the edge of the Ashdown Forest in picturesque West Hoathly.
Arts and Crafts family home with Morris & Co. interiors, set in a beautiful hillside garden.
Come and see a family home and garden brought to life in this gem of the Arts & Crafts Movement, hidden at the end of a quiet Sussex lane, with views over the Ashdown Forest and Weirwood Reservoir.
Welcome to an extraordinary and extravagant pleasure palace. Built for the Prince Regent, later King George IV, in stages between 1787 and 1823, the Royal Pavilion is remarkable for its exotic oriental appearance both inside and out. This magnificent royal pleasure palace was revered by fashionable Regency society and is still a distinctive landmark for vibrant Brighton & Hove today. The Royal Pavilion is also home to some of the finest collections and examples of the chinoiserie style in Britain.