ST MARY’S HOUSE & GAR­DENS

BBC History Magazine - - The 2018 Heritage Guide -

Few build­ings in Sus­sex re­flect the rich ta­pes­try of the county’s his­tory over al­most 900 years as well as the mag­nif­i­cent, tim­ber-framed, St Mary’s House, Bram­ber. It has stood at the cen­tre of this idyl­lic, tra­di­tional, English vil­lage for some six cen­turies. Sir Simon Jenk­ins, in his book Eng­land’s Thou­sand Best Houses, de­scribes St Mary’s as both ‘a shrine to me­dieval Sus­sex’ and ‘ec­cen­tric and de­light­ful’. The fine pan­elled in­te­ri­ors in­clude the unique El­iz­a­bethan 'Painted Room' with its in­trigu­ing trompe l’oeil mu­rals, the mag­nif­i­cent Vic­to­rian Mu­sic Room and many fas­ci­nat­ing col­lec­tions. The five acres of grounds in­clude for­mal gar­dens with amus­ing top­i­ary and an ex­cep­tional ex­am­ple of the pre­his­toric tree Ginkgo biloba, Ju­bilee Rose Gar­den, Poetry Gar­den, wood­land walk, and Land­scape Wa­ter Gar­den. A spe­cial de­light is the se­cret, walled gar­den with its rare pineap­ple pits, and its ter­ra­cotta frame­work. The newly-de­signed King’s Gar­den, opened by HRH Princess Alexan­dra last year, fea­tures a de­scen­dant of the fa­mous Bosco­bel Oak, re­call­ing the visit of King Charles II dur­ing his es­cape to France. St Mary’s is a mag­i­cal, time­less place - a haven of tran­quil­lity and beauty. “One of the most beau­ti­ful places I’ve ever vis­ited in Eng­land.”

OPEN­ING TIMES

April – Septem­ber. Sun & Thu 14:00 - 18:00.

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