Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Great Gardens


Perhaps not a GREAT garden but a magnificent property nevertheless. Bateman's does have lovely gardens, though the focus is the house. Bateman's, was the home of the great Rudyard Kipling and is located near the village of Burwash in Sussex. It was built by a Wealden ironmaster in local sandstone, at a time when the Sussex Weald, with its forests for charcoal, was a flourishing centre of the ancient English iron industry. The date over the porch is 1634.

Rudyard Kipling settled in the house in 1902, and lived there for over thirty years, until his death, rejoicing in its seclusion under the Sussex downs, and in the evidence all around of thousands of years of English history. was the heartbreaking Locomobile that brought us to the house called 'Bateman's', he wrote in Something of Myself. We had seen an advertisement of her, and we reached her down an enlarged rabbit-hole of a lane. At very first sight the Committee of Ways and Means [Mrs Kipling and himself] said 'That's her! The only She! Make an honest woman of her - quick!'. We entered and felt her Spirit - her Feng Shui - to be good. We went through every room and found no shadow of ancient regrets, stifled miseries, nor any menace though the 'new' end of her was three hundred years old...

The house is now held by the National Trust as a memorial to Rudyard Kipling, and can be visited between April and October. It is one of over a thousand historic buildings in Britain protected by the Trust.

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