Alfriston Clergy House, Alfriston, Polegate, East Sussex

Alfriston Clergy House was the very first property to be saved forever by the National Trust, way back in 1896. Next to the village church in Alfriston, it was built in the 13th century to house the parish priest and is one of only a few remaining ‘Wealden’ hall houses in the area. It’s a fascinating place to visit, with each room reflecting a different period in the house’s 600 year history and telling the story of past residents.

The main room, the hall, is medieval and shows the simplicity of life in those times; the floor is made of chalk and sour milk - chalk was plentiful in the area and sour milk helped to strengthen it (you learn something new every day!). Look up at the beam in the corner of the room and you’ll see a carved oakleaf which dates from the time the house was built. The parlour is early 1600s, the first floor bedroom has a Victorian bed, and the Reading Room is 1920s.

The Arts & Crafts style garden is gorgeous, laid out in a series of ‘rooms’, each one with a different theme, so there’s a Vegetable Garden, A Herb Garden, a Rose Garden, a Box Tree Garden and an Orchard, all joined by brickwork paths and overlooking a meandering stretch of the Cuckmere River.

Opening times vary throughout the year, so it’s wise to check the website if you’re intending to visit Afriston Clergy House. While you’re here, have a stroll around and stop for lunch or a cream tea in one of the inns or tea rooms.

T: 01323 871961

All information correct at the time of writing

Large Holiday Houses in East Sussex