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Charleston

Firle
Lewes
East Sussex
BN8 6LL

In 1916 the artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant moved to Sussex with their unconventional household. From the moment they arrived they began to transform the house with decorations. Inspired by Italian fresco painting and the Post-Impressionists, they painted the walls, doors, furniture and ceramics in their own personal style.

The walled garden was redesigned in a style reminiscent of southern Europe, with mosaics, box hedges, gravel pathways and ponds.

Over the following half century Charleston became the country meeting place for the group of artists, writers and intellectuals known as Bloomsbury. Clive Bell, David Garnet and Maynard Keynes lived at Charleston for considerable periods; Virginia and Leonard Woolf, E. M. Forster, Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry were frequent visitors.

The rooms which are normally on show form a complete example of the decorative art of the Bloomsbury artists. Guided tours of the house add a human dimension to this unique and personal collection, which in addition to paintings by the Bloomsbury artists, includes objects from the Omega Workshops and work by Renoir, Picasso, Matthew Smith, Sickert and Delacroix.

On Fridays there is a special themed tour called 'From Omega: the Bloomsbury Interior'. This lasts for an hour and twenty minutes and includes the kitchen, not seen on other tours.

General Information:

  • Shop selling original ceramics, painted furniture and books
  • Gallery with program of exhibitions
  • Workshops and events
  • Cafe
  • Please telephone for disabled access information

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  • Directions

    Road: sign-posted off the A27, 7 miles east of Lewes, between Firle and Selmeston.
    Rail: regular service from London Victoria to Lewes.

    Charleston Postcode for SatNav: BN8 6LL

    Contact

     
    Tel:
    +44 (0)1323 811 265
    Fax:
    +44 (0)1323 811 628
    Email:
    Web:











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