Standen House is a wonderful Arts and Crafts family home!
The building was designed between 1891 and 1894 by architect Philip Webb, who was a friend of William Morris, for a prosperous London solicitor, his wife and their family of seven children. The house is constructed in the Wealden vernacular style with sandstone quarried from the estate and locally made bricks and tiles. The interior is decorated with Morris carpets, fabrics and wallpapers, with furnishings also by Morris, and the garden complements the beauty of the house. The house had electric power, originally generated by a donkey engine in a shed by the old barn. The house still has its original electric light fittings.
In 1972 Standen House was given to the National Trust.
Standen House Location
The property is near East Grinstead and within easy reach of Steyning.
Go into the house past the lit fireplace in the hall. You will find each room dressed for a different decade in which the family celebrated Christmas at Standen. Once you have enjoyed the festivities in the house, check out the Arts and Crafts inspired gifts in the shop. After that enjoy a warming drink and Christmas treat in Barn Café.
If you love history and architecture do make sure you visit the Weald and Downland Museum in West Sussex.
This excellent museum showcases rural buildings over the centuries and is open throughout the year. They also have special day and weekend events.
You can discover rescued rural homes and buildings set in a beautiful landscape in the South Downs National Park. Their collection tells the stories of the people who lived and worked in rural South East England for over 1,000 years.
Enjoy their family-friendly and dog-friendly 40-acre site and visit their collection of historic buildings – they have more than 50 to explore from a replica Anglo-Saxon hall house to an Edwardian tin church.
The Museum is located on Town Lane in Singleton, which is 7 miles north of Chichester.
By car: The journey to the museum takes about 45 minutes from Steyning. Take the A283, B2139, A29, A27 and Kennel Hill to Open Air Theatre Rd. The postcode is PO18 0EU.
Follow the brown tourist attraction signs marked ‘Open Air Museum’. There is a free car park and disabled parking spaces are available opposite the Museum shop.
I recommend spending time there and visiting the house and gardens at 15th century St Mary’s. This timber framed building was constructed around 1470 by the bishop of Winchester. At that time pilgrims used the house as an inn on their way to the tomb of St Thomas of Canterbury.
The house is open from the end of April to the end of September on Sundays, Thursdays and Bank Holiday Mondays (& Wednesdays in August) from 2 – 6 p.m.
Entry costs: Adults £10; Concessions £9; Children £5
There are also some lovely cottage style tea rooms.
The Normans certainly left their mark at St Cuthman’s and St Andrew’s church in Steyning
The church has 12th century craftsmanship that is especially fine, even in a county where much good Norman work has survived. Begun around 1080, the original church was cruciform, and nearly twice the size of the present building. It had transepts and a much longer chancel than the present 19th century one, as well as two extra bays at the west end of the nave, where the 16th century flint chequer work tower is now.
With its high roof, crossing tower and clerestory, it must have been an awesome building indeed. The earliest part that remains is that which now forms the chancel arch, immensely high and with decoratively carved capitals.
The surviving bays of the nave arcade, built around 1170/80, have exuberant carving on most of the arches and capitals, each one different, with no shortage of the customary zigzags and scallops as well as many less conventional motifs and designs that repay a really close look
Walk to end of Church Street and you will see the church on your left. Read more here