Charleston is an exquisite little cottage and garden where Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant entertained the Bloomsbury Set in the 1930s and 40s. The cottage is decorated with murals, mostly by Duncan Grant himself, and is a time capsule of that artistic and literary age.
Charleston Festival 2024
Exclusive tickets for The Star guests
Stay at The Star to visit The Turner Prize at The Towner Gallery, the world’s leading prize for contemporary art (28 September 2023 to 14 April 2024).
Monk’s House is a tranquil 16th-century weatherboarded cottage inhabited by Leonard and the novelist Virginia Woolf from 1919 until Leonard’s death in 1969. Full of their favourite things, the house appears as if they just stepped out for a walk. The Woolfs bought Monk’s House for the ‘shape and fertility and wildness of the garden’. Today, the lovely cottage garden contains a mix of flowers, vegetables, orchards, lawns and ponds.
From Alfriston walk the Vanguard Way to reach this sacred site on the hilltop. It’s the 20th-century murals that draw most visitors to this place. They are quite simply outstanding. Painted during the Second World War by Bloomsbury artists Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and her son Quentin Bell, the murals continued, or perhaps revived a long tradition of painted interiors in Sussex churches. Inspired by the frescoes of Renaissance Italy.
Lee Miller and Roland Penrose moved to the Sussex countryside to live at Farleys in 1949. For the 35 years that followed, they filled their home with a collection of contemporary art treasures and were visited by some of the key personalities of 20th century art.
Charleston in Lewes
Experience Charleston in its new space in Lewes. Launching with two new unmissable exhibitions: ‘Bring No Clothes: Bloomsbury and Fashion’ and ‘Jonathan Baldock: through the joy of the senses’ the new venue will have a shop, café and a free programme of co-produced community projects.