Bateman’s is a Jacobean Wealden Mansion built in 1634 and was the family home of Rudyard Kipling – the absolute J K Rowling of his time!
Nestled in the quaint town of Burwash in East Sussex, it is a gardener’s delight with its planted borders and vegetable gardens and is a great place for children and adults to explore with various planned activities throughout the year.
The estate consists of 300 acres within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is dog friendly.
Kipling was at the top of his game when he moved here and bought the house for £9,300, he had just written the Jungle Book and the Just So Stories were published while he was living here.
The core of the Just So stories were bedtime stories Kipling made up for his children. His daughter liked her Father to tell her the same story over and over, if he made a mistake she would say can you tell me the story just so!
Walking into the walled garden and down to the house in the sunshine, the smell of the herb gardens and the wide variety of flowers is an absolute delight.
There are plenty of signs in the planting for budding gardeners and many benches along the pathways to stop and take in the atmosphere of the place.
The mansion (and grounds) are now owned by the National Trust and the volunteers are so helpful and full of facts as you enter the house and step back in time – upstairs you can see Kipling’s study and below the parlour where the family would spend their time at the end of the day.
The main entrance hall is impressive with its tiled floor and huge fireplace – the clock on the wall is something to note as it dates back to 1630 and is one of the oldest clocks owned by the National Trust – it was made by Hoskins of London and has a coat of arms on the top made by Kipling’s Father.
On my way down to the mill I walk past The Lily Pond and Rose Garden designed by Kipling himself with the money he received after being awarded with the Noble Prize for Literature in 1907.
There are perfectly manicured hedges here, the pond is covered in lilies and the rose garden is full of beautiful red and pink blooms.
I walk on through the Wild Garden where Kipling once had his tennis court, there are bridges over the River Dudwell here and many flowering trees and shrubs – in the spring there is a carpet of wildflowers.
After a quick look around Park Mill which was subject to a major restoration programme and was incorporated into the Puck of Pool’s Hill stories, it’s time to wander back up through the gardens and stop off for coffee and cake in the café and take in the view.
I highly recommend a visit to Batemans. I enjoyed every minute of my visit there. These photos only show a small part of the experience.
And make sure you stop off and see Kipling’s 1928 Phantom Rolls-Royce before you leave it’s a treat for vintage motoring enthusiasts!