Monk’s House, Rodmell – a visit with Hastings Battleaxe

Well, this will be the last blog post before my Big Birthday at the end of this week.  Exciting things are afoot – will reveal all after the day! Last week we went with old friends Bob and Alison to visit Monk’s House, Rodmell – the home of Virginia Woolf.

Photo from National Trust

Had a nice day at Charleston a while ago – here is the post about it, but Battleaxe has to confess that she is not too keen on the Bloomsbury group, and even less keen on Virginia Woolf’s writing – in fact, I don’t think I’ve finished any of her books. Maybe I need to try again…

We met our friends for lunch at the Abergavenny Arms in Rodmell village – it was a sunny day so we could sit out in the garden – very attractive, and good food. Battleaxe would recommend. Rodmell is an obviously affluent, pretty little village, as are so many in this part of the Sussex country-side.  One wonders if the inhabitants have any concern about the state of the nation – presumably most are well-insulated  financially.

We walked down the road to Monk’s House and signed in with our National Trust cards.  Inside, there is not that much to see – only the downstairs rooms are open to view, and it is all a bit sub-Charleston – lots of painted furniture, art from Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell on the walls etc.  However, there is a big conservatory with lots of interesting plants in, and I was surprised at the size and attractiveness of the garden – definitely worth a visit for that alone. There are lovely views of the South Downs.


This purple morning glory appears frequently in Turkey, but when I photograph it out there, it always comes out blue…

We also saw Virginia’s garden writing room. She wrote: ‘a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.’

Well, she had both, but it was from this house that Virginia walked down to the near-by River Ouse and drowned herself.  She suffered badly from depression throughout her life, and in 1941 it finally overcame her. This is an interesting piece.

This is a short post – am busy preparing for Birthday Festival which will last Thursday, Friday… possibly Saturday. On Sunday we go over to Seaford to collect grand daughter Eve who will stay with us for the week.





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