National Trust to reopen houses at East Sussex sites

Interior spaces of historic sites are being prepared to reopen from Monday (May 17) under step three of the roadmap out of lockdown.

Bateman's, in Burwash, is due to reopen to the public on Monday, May 17. Photograph: National Trust Images/John Miller

The National Trust has confirmed that it will start to welcome visitors back inside its houses from next week following the easing of restrictions.

In East Sussex, Rudyard Kipling’s former home Bateman’s, in Burwash, will reopen on Monday.

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Virginia Woolf’s former home Monk’s House, in Rodmell, will reopen on Wednesday (May 19) and Alfriston Clergy House will reopen from next Friday (May 21).

Monk's House, in Rodmell. Photograph: Pete Cripps

Visitors will also be able to access the towers at Bodiam Castle, near Robertsbridge, from Monday.

In a statement the conservation charity said that staff and volunteers have been working hard behind the scenes to get properties ready to reopen.

It added that some small properties or rooms unable to accommodate social distancing will reopen later when restrictions are lifted or repair or redisplay work completed.

National Trust’s director general Hilary McGrady said: “This is a big moment that we have all looked forward to for months as we welcome people back safely, to spend time together at their favourite properties.

The towers at Bodiam Castle, near Robertsbridge, will be accessible from Monday. Photograph: National Trust Images/ Sam Milling

“Hundreds of our parks, gardens and countryside locations have already reopened, but we know how much our members and supporters have been looking forward to returning to see our houses and collections again.

“Our places are nothing without our visitors there to enjoy them. It is a matter of huge relief, pride and gratitude that the places in our care can start to reopen following closure due to the pandemic. Not a single place will be lost to the public. The cultural treasures that are our shared inheritance are waiting – for everyone.”

In West Sussex, interior spaces at National Trust sites Standen, in East Grinstead, Nymans, in Handcross, and Petworth House are due to reopen from Monday.

Entry arrangements to the sites vary. For more details, visit