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Georgian house with literary associations

Red-brick fronted house with literary associations - both Henry James and E. F. Benson lived here.

The garden

Lamb House has a walled garden, one of the largest gardens in the old town of Rye; it was designed as we see it today by a friend of Henry James called Alfred Parsons.

The Campsis still climbs the wall as it did in James’ time; there are roses, lilies, spring bulbs and many herbaceous varieties bordering the lawn which ensure continuous colour and interest throughout the year.

Also to be found in the garden are the graves of James’ much loved dogs. The garden is a tranquil contrast to the busy streets of the town in the summer and sitting beside the pond one can fully understand why James had such affection for his garden. Today the garden is a refuge for visitors and local people alike.

Re-creating the garden room for Mapp and Lucia © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Re-creating the garden room for Mapp and Lucia

Re-making Mapp and Lucia

In the summer of 2014 Lamb House was transformed to become part of the set for the BBC's new adaptation of E F Benson's novel Mapp and Lucia. Having written the series at Lamb House and based it in Rye, it was fitting that the property be at the heart of the new adaptation as 'Mallards'.

The three part drama written by Steve Pemberton, also stars Miranda Richardson, Anna Chancellor and Mark Gattiss, to name but a few, with the help from some locals taking part too.

The production company with the help of conservation teams at the National Trust designed a set fit for Miss Mapp's exacting standards and Rye stepped back in time for a fun few weeks.

Recreating a piece of Lamb House history

Bombed during the Second World War, the garden room at Lamb House was recreated for the filming of Mapp and Lucia. The convincing set gives viewers a window into the history of the house. It's hoped that with the help of fundraising, boosted by the filming, Lamb House might one day be reunited with a garden room once more.

When we open in mid-March 2015,  visitors to Lamb House will be able to find out more about the making of Mapp and Lucia thanks to a small display made possible as the result of location fees for the filming. The house also has personal possessions belonging to Henry James on show. 

There's so much to learn from our volunteer room guides © Arnhel de Serra

There's so much to learn from our volunteer room guides

Bringing Lamb House to life

We like telling stories and making sure our visitors learn about the best bits of this special place so we need guides for the house and garden to bring Lamb House to life. If you can immerse yourself in the history of this place and its jewel of a garden, can tell a good tale or two and keep our visitors enthralled, come and volunteer, we've got several roles available.

Ask us for more information by emailing