Charleston, Firle, West Firle, Lewes, East Sussex

A visit to Charleston is a must for anyone interested in the Bloomsbury Group, and actually, it’s an eye opener for those who have never even heard of them. The Bloomsbury Group were a set of intellectuals, writers, artists and philosophers in the first half of the 20th century. Among them were authors Virginia Woolf, E M Forster and Lytton Strachey, economist John Maynard Keynes and artists Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Roger Fry. In 1916, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant took up residence at Charleston and began to transform this old East Sussex farmhouse into a work of art, painting almost every surface in their very distinctive style.

Charleston became a country gathering place for the Bloomsbury group and their progressive ideas. From 1979 to 1989 the house was restored to how it would have been at its hey day; it has provided much inspiration to interior designers, with its bohemian feel - the Bloomsbury group were a forward thinking bunch and their style would have been considered very radical at the time, being very experimental and avant-garde, in line with their often unconventional relationships. Wander from room to room, taking your time to look at everything, the collections of paintings, textiles, ceramics and sculptures, hand stencilled furniture, walls and window frames, the concentric design on the dining table.

The walled garden is likewise, a work of art, like a ‘living painting’, with sculptures, a tiled pond and flower beds bursting and rambling with colour. There’s also a gallery and shop, and a very good café with delicious Italian street food.

Open: Weds-Sat 10:100am-5:00pm
T: 01323 811626

All information correct at the time of writing

Large Holiday Houses in East Sussex