St. Mary's House & Gardens

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Hollyhocks st St. Mary's House & Gardens, Bramber

What Visitors Say


How much we enjoyed the visit to the gardens - historic and full of secrets. Thank you for looking after everyone so well, especially for the refreshments at the end which were most welcome.

Windmill Horticultural Society, June 2015

Thank you for the excellent hospitality. It is a most enchanting place - so old and so lovingly cared for. It was a joy to see. The tours were excellent and so full of information, and the tea and cake was much much appreciated. The garden tour was also delightful and so peaceful.

Emsworth U3A, June 2015

Your house is entrancing and magical; so are the gardens, and we haven't spent four hours more pleasantly for a long time.

Courtauld Alumni, May 2015

A most interesting and detailed tour of your beautiful house and gardens, which we all enjoyed enormously. We appreciated...the historical significance of the site and the many features which make St Mary's such an individual and exciting place.

Shipley History Society, September 2014

The house is an absolute delight - every nook and cranny of the gardens is yet another surprise. We all enjoyed a wonderful afternoon visit.

Hillingdon Amateur Gardeners, September 2014

St Mary's House is truly enchanting and the gardens magical, and we are full of admiration for your enthusiasm for and care of both.

Westham Evening WI, August 2014

The guides in the house were so knowledgeable without being academic about everything. The cream tea was excellent, and Mr Linton's tour of the garden left us speechless. You have an amazing property and garden which we all felt very privileged to visit.

Littlehampton Tangent Club, August 2014

A beautiful house...The tours round the house and gardens were informative and interesting, and the warm welcome by everyone involved made our visit complete.

Sussex Family History Group - Worthing, August 2014

A huge thank you for making our visit tp St Mary's such a memorable one. Your dedication to the restoration work appears to know no bounds

Esher Probus Group, July 2014

Thank you for the wonderful HHA Friends tour. I found it absolutely fascinating to see the house and garden and to hear all about the history and everything you have done over 30 years - what a magnificent achievement.

Please thank your staff and all who were involved in making our visit so special and memorable.

Friends of the HHA, June 2014

St. Mary's really is an extraordinary place, rather like a historical 'Tardis'! It is wonderful that you have managed to preserve the historical integrity of the house, whilst making it feel so uniquely yours and reflective of your interests. Your team looked after us magnificently... you went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that we had a lovely time.

Royal Academy of Arts, May 2014

Thank you for giving us such a warm welcome, interesting guided tour of your beautiful house and garden, capped by a delicious tea. As you know, some of us did not want to leave!

Tenterden and District National Trust, May 2014

The members were so impressed and delighted. Your expert knowledge and love of St Mary's made it quite wonderful!

Henfield Trefoil Guild

We are all lucky that you [Peter] and Roger alighted on St Mary's so long ago and have performed miracles in preserving our common heritage for future generations to come. What a wonderful house it is, and I am sure there will be other secrets that you may tease out of the fabric to extend our knowledge of times past.

SPAB - Sussex Group, April 2014

Thank you for a magnificent tour of the house and gardens of St Mary's, Bramber. Everyone was very impressed with the knowledge of the house your guides displayed. Our thanks also go to everyone who prepared our scrumptious tea and cakes. It was so beautifully laid up and served that we all felt like royalty visiting.

Richmond Retired Teachers' Fellowship, March 2014

Thank you to all those involved in making our visit so memorable. The house guides were very informative and really provided us with an in-depth view of the house and area. I am sure many of us will return.

Little Common Probus Club, September 2013

The warm welcoming we got was a breath of fresh air! Our guide was very interesting and very helpful.

Chiltern Travel, Ilford, September 2013

We started by touring the charming gardens, which are in the process of being restored. The garden near the house is very colourful, framed with specimen trees including a large and unusual Ginkgo Biloba. From the garden we were then guided round the enchanting historic house which was full of surprises and wonderful original features: wood panelling, and unique hand-painted panels featuring oval frescoes. We were charmed by secret doors and rooms leading into each other - every one a new surprise. The house is all the better for being lived in and feels much loved and cherished. It is, in my opinion, a 'must see'.

Brooklands 750 Motor Club, August 2013

... A most enjoyable and informative afternoon. We all felt most welcome. The house was full of history and the garden was full of surprises - it just seemed to go on for ever. "Our best visit yet."

Westdene WI, August 2013

The restoration of the house was unbelievably amazing, with some wonderful surprises. After the tour of the house, the opportunity of a rest with tea and delicious homemade cakes was most welcome. This gave us renewed energy for the tour round one of the most intriguing gardens I have ever seen. The potting shed [Rural Museum] was in a class of its own with the most unusual and interesting collection of things I can imagine.

Burgess Hill Choral Society, July 2013

Your home and gardens are in a league of their own and I am still receiving e-mails and phone calls to say what a wonderful experience it was.  It was so personal and unlike any house we have previously visited.  My group have rated it the best visit ever and given me a five star ***** rating for bringing them to visit you. Congratulations on a highly successful enterprise. The love and enthusiasm you all have is infectious. I am sure we shall be back in a few years.

Christchurch U3A, June 2013

The word 'unique' is frequently overused and misused in this day and age, but St Mary's really is unique - and it was a privilege to see the results of all the tender loving care that has gone into it over the last 30 years. Our group felt it was the totally delightful and one of the best visits ever, with the guided tour showing how the house has evolved over the centuries (and is still evolving now) but without compromising its ancient roots, atmosphere and architecture.

Leicester Antiques Society, April 2013

We have never received such wonderful hospitality and friendly welcome. Everyone was amazed by it and talked about it on the coach. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to you and really loved your home.

Chelmsford Group, April 2012

Little did the club members and friends realise what an utter treat they were letting themselves in for when they booked for this summer outing. How many of us have driven past this wonderful Tudor timber structure and though how charming it looks; how lovely the garden looks which you can glimpse through the thick yew hedge..? And how one day we really must go and take a closer look... Well all I can say is GO! This total gem is a Pandora's box of delights and no words can adequately describe what's on offer.

West Sussex Writers Group, August 2011.


   Individual visitors

The garden is lovely and one can hardly believe that much of it is only three decades old. How proud you must be of your achievement. I can think of few better ways in which to spend a Sunday afternoon than in visiting your splendid house.

The Lord Lingfield, September 2014

Marvellous atmosphere, great history and very friendly people.

Everything was superb; homely, historical and full of delightful artefacts, furnishings, etc.

The garden was a dream.

Like a chocolate box - until opened we had no idea about the wonders inside.

Visitor comments (2013)

St Mary's does more to encapsulate the rich history of the South Downs than any single building that I have encountered to date.

Trevor Beattie, Chief Executive, South Downs National Park. September 2012.

... We discussed the future of this magical house and gardens. Over the last 27 years you have done so much to safeguard this important Grade I building and to create a visitor enterprise that supports the annual expenditure in maintaining the collections and the property itself.

Robert Parker, Historic Houses Association Technical Adviser.

... The feeling of real home, which it is, and the tranquility of the gardens, very friendly stewards and lovely tea.

Everyone was so warm and welcoming……such a very special afternoon at a very special house.

Much enjoyed seeing St Mary's - can't think why we have never been to visit before - a marvellous house, a fascinating garden and such kind and knowledgeable hosts in Peter and Roger. We shall certainly be visiting St Mary's again and bringing visitors staying with us to see such a remarkable ongoing restoration project.

Chris Brickell, former director of RHS Wisley, April 2009


        Telephone 01903 816205     email

© St. Mary's House, Bramber, West Sussex  UK  BN44 3WE    tel. 01903 816205    last updated 26/11/2015