The new season at historic St Mary’s House and Gardens in Bramber is under way with wonderful new features in the gardens and a full concert programme which takes place in the Victorian Music Room.
The House and Gardens are open for the summer season, with public open afternoons on Sundays, Thursdays and Bank Holiday Mondays, from 2 to 6pm. St Mary’s is an enchanting, award-winning medieval house which is also host to many group visits, wedding ceremonies and private parties.
This year everyone at St Mary’s is celebrating 30yrs since the start of the restoration by Peter Thorogood MBE and Roger Linton MBE. There are fine panelled interiors, including the unique Elizabethan ‘Painted Room’, interesting family memorabilia and a rare Napoleonic collection. Refreshments are served in our traditional cottage-style tea room.
St Mary’s has five acres of grounds which include formal gardens with amusing topiary and an exceptional example of the prehistoric tree Ginkgo biloba. The Victorian ‘Secret’ Garden, with its original fruit-wall and pineapple pits, has a Rural Museum, Jubilee Rose Garden, Terracotta Garden, woodland walk and unusual circular Poetry Garden. New this year are the Landscape Water Garden with its island and waterfall, and the fully restored Victorian Glasshouse. Visitors comment time and again on the friendliness of the staff, the beautiful house, the peaceful atmosphere, and the surprise round every corner of the garden.
The concert programme this year is as varied as ever with Gilbert & Sullivan Favourites on 27th June. BBC TV ‘New Tricks’ stars Susan Jameson and James Bolam help to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo in July along with Dr Simon Lee, Susan Legg mezzo-soprano, Andrew MacKenzie-Wicks tenor and Terence Allbright piano. ‘English Baroque and Beyond’ by American countertenors ‘Echoing Air’ will be performed in August then straight from London’s West End there will be a drama double bill of two short plays ‘Man With the Golden Gun’ and ‘Larry’ about Ian Fleming Sir Lawrence Olivier. For the full season’s programme please visit St Mary’s website at: www.stmarysbramber.co.uk or telephone 01903 816205.
Report and pictures contributed by St Mary’s House & Gardens