Nestled in the High Weald countryside, Bateman’s is a soft sandstone 17th-century house sitting beautifully within the garden and the valley beyond in the lovely landscape of East Sussex, England.
A modest yet charming house, Bateman’s was built, extended and renovated over a long time, where parts of the house are even older than the 1634 date which the house was completed.
In 1902 it was purchased by Rudyard Kipling and his wife, Caroline.
Kipling was England’s most famous author, so much so that he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907 and is one of the best-known Victorian poets and storytellers to this day.
Maybe you might know one of his works, “The Jungle Book”, composed of seven tales starring animals and children, such as the famous character Mowgli, the story that was the basis for Disney movies.
Hence, the 33 acres around Bateman’s offered privacy and helped keep curiosity at bay, as Rudyard was widely known.
Over the years, Kipling gradually acquired more of the surrounding farmland, which currently comprises the 300-acre estate where you can follow several routes to take in some of the best features of this inspiring landscape.
Rudyard Kipling died in 1936, and his wife passed in 1939. Under the terms of her will, the house was donated to the National Trust, which has maintained it ever since.
The house is a Grade I listed building, the highest grade reserved for only a few buildings of “exceptional architectural or historical importance”.
Nowadays, the interior remains much as they left them, with oriental rugs and artefacts recollecting his strong connection with the East.
The house contains an extensive collection with nearly 5,000 memorabilia pieces, including his Nobel Prize, his Rolls-Royce Phantom I, several oriental objects and paintings he collected.
Surrounded by fields and woodland, the garden was designed by Kipling in 1907 using his Nobel prize award money. It includes a river that flows through a wildflower meadow, a formal rose garden, an orchard and a pond.
In addition, there is a watermill on site – believed to have been there since the late 1200s.
Kipling commissioned his cousin Ambrose Poynter to install a turbine at the mill to generate electricity for the house.
His efforts to create a lovely garden for his family and friends to enjoy inspired Kipling to write one of the most frequently quoted gardening poems: “The Glory of the Garden”.
The entrance is free for the National Trust members and for non-members, please verify the latest prices here.
How to get there?
Address: Bateman’s Lane, Burwash, East Sussex, TN19 7DS
The car parking is free for the NT members and £4 per car for non-members.
The nearest station is 3 miles at Etchingham. Connects with public bus service from Hurst Green to Heathfield – see bus information for times. No taxi rank at the station.
231 Seaford & District bus service from Uckfield to Etchingham (weekdays only). Approximate 2 hourly services, but please check the bus timetable here before travelling.
– Bodiam Castle: read more about it here.
– Scotney Castle: 10.4 miles away.
– Sissinghurst Castle: 15.3 miles away.
– Smallhythe Place: 20 miles away.
Are you planning a day out with the family? You’ll find space to play and plenty to see and do around the Bateman’s garden and estate.
And as you finish your tour, why not stop by the Mulberry tea room to sample their selection of hot and cold drinks, snacks and light meals?
I’m sure you will have a lovely day around there.