History

The Messel family

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Meet the gardeners

Nymans' first head gardener, James Comber, and his team © Nymans Archive

Find out about the head gardeners who have left their mark on the garden at Nymans over the years.

Reviving old traditions

Alistair Buchanan, Messel family representative at Nymans, recounts (with his usual knack for telling a good yarn) the wedding of his daughter Helen at Nymans in 2002.

A genius of stage and screen

One of the greatest British stage and costume designers of all time, Oliver Messel was encouraged by his creative parents to develop his skills from a young age. He drew much inspiration from Nymans.

Mr Wells the butler

Mr Wells the butler began at Nymans in 1927 and stayed for 24 years. On the night of the fire in 1947 he was responsible for saving much of the furniture and belongings for the Messel family.

Addy the lady's maid

Miss Adamson, or 'Addy' as she was known, worked at Nymans for over 60 years, firstly as lady's maid to Maud and then as a companion to Anne. She is now interred in the Messel family grave in St Marks, Staplefield.

Daphne Dengate

Daphne Dengate began as Maud's secretary/companion and worked for the Messels for 63 years. Daphne and Maud also directed Shakespeare plays with the local Women's Institute dramatic society, which were put on at Nymans.

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