Tuesday 12 February 2019

Standen House

With the National Trust cottoning on to the fact that if they keep their properties open over the winter people will come in their droves and there's brass to be made, I've found it to be a great boon to be able to have the option of using my card and go out even on a wet, cold Sunday in February. There's nothing like a cheery interior and the promise of a big slab of cake to lift the spirits!

Standen House is my favourite NT place to visit in Sussex and whenever we've been there's always something new happening. This time we were able to enjoy an unexpected trip up the water tower. These used to happen regularly, but they are very ad hoc as not only are they weather dependent [a tad windy up there!], but now seasonal too since it became a maternity roost for the local long eared bats!

A few photos from outside [too bleeding cold to hang about for long] today.

The assistant ranger, Ben Wiles, is in the process of  building the so-called Chestnut Barn from scratch as you do!

The rather magnificent view that you get of the back of the house as you approach from the carpark. It was just meant as a country retreat after the rigours of living in London all week....all 300 acres of it as it was then.

These are some of the remaining original espalier apple trees from 1894

At the time the house was built there was no running water so all the needs of the family, visitors and staff had to be met by collecting the rainwater. The architect, Philip Webb cleverly designed the water tower to make it a feature of the house [it was way over and above what was actually required to house the filtration tanks]. During the clement weather the family used to sit at the top and paint the stunning views.

Nowadays the tours are by donation only. The proceeds of these have been used to buy the bee hives, like the original ones that used to by kept by the owners. Last summer was the first year there was sufficient honey produced to stock the shop......a mere £8 for half a pound. Afraid I wasn't tempted.

Standen is an Arts and Crafts dream. I'll put up some photos of the treasures within tomorrow.


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