Rajel Khambhaita’s 2015 makes us jealous. He spent the year hopping from National Trust property to National Trust property, taking in historic homes and natural wonders alike. All told, he used his membership card to visit over 65 special places across the UK in his Year of Magical Visits.
Over the next several weeks, Rajel will be sharing stories from his ten most memorable National Trust visits from 2015. Today, he’s writing about Bateman’s, Rudyard Kipling’s home in Sussex. Read about his experience and then plan your own visit. All you need is your Royal Oak membership and your passport!
By Rajel Khambhaita
Visiting the National Trust’s Bateman’s and the surrounding East Sussex countryside on a winter’s day comes highly recommended. Bateman’s, the Jacobean house that was the home of Rudyard Kipling from 1902 to 1936 requires little introduction and is one of the most interesting and culturally diverse collections in the National Trust portfolio. This is apparent from the moment you enter the hall with items collected by Kipling on overseas travels, particularly the Indian subcontinent. Particularly striking for me was a small Lord Ganesh statue from India – the house has numerous rugs and artifacts from Asia. Each room has interesting furniture, feature and exhibits – some left the way they originally where.
A fascinating room with numerous artifacts. Books lie everywhere as do pieces of paper overflowing out of waste baskets. There is a day bed and many other personal items that really give the living quarters an edge.
The Kipling collection
Visitors should not miss the Nobel Prize for literature or paintings from The Jungle Book. Handwritten notes and illustrations are very well kept. Furthermore, a Pathe newsreel played in the study has the only known footage of him speaking. Don’t miss the phonograph with his verse set to music and select a station on the 1930s radio to hear one of his famous quotations.
An outbuilding contains Kipling’s 1928 Phantom 1 Rolls-Royce, and an exhibit covering the author’s love of motoring. A real treat for enthusiasts of vintage motoring.
Exterior and garden
The garden surrounding the house is very nice with ponds and water features
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