Library

The books

End papers from the Alice in Wonderland display in the library © Ed Church

End papers from the Alice in Wonderland display in the library

We hold a fascinating collection of Vita and Harold's books; some with their own annotations. Our collection spans over 70 years and is a fascinating record of their travels, friendships and passions. Our star item 'Alice's dventures underground' is a facsimile of the original handwritten copy given to Ellen Terry by the author. Her daughter, Edith Craig gave it to Vita as they were friends, forming a link between Sissinghurst and Smallhythe Place.

The books

Facsimile of the author's copy of Alice’s adventures underground © Ed Church

Facsimile of the author's copy of Alice’s adventures underground

We hold a fascinating collection of Vita and Harold's books; some with their own annotations. The collection spans over 70 years and is a fascinating record of their travels, friendships and passions.
Our star item ' Alice adventures underground' is a facsimile of the original handwritten copy given to Ellen Terry by the author. Her daughter, Edith Craig gave it to Vita as they were friends, forming a link between Sissinghurst and Smallhythe Place.

Vita's writing room

Vita's writing room in the Elizabethan tower

Vita gardened during the day and in the evening, wrote her books and weekly gardening columns. This routine continued until her death in 1962. The writing room is as she left it.

Recreating the library

Recovering the sofa in the library

During 2011 we refurbished some of the furniture as the original sofa and armchair brought from Long Barn had long gone.
New seating was purchased and recovered with a similar pattern originally chosen by Vita.  Warner’s supplied the pattern called ‘Floating Magnolia-Beige on Stone’.
 

'The Big Room'

Archive photo of the library from the donor family album © Juliet Nicolson

Archive photo of the library from the donor family album

When Vita and Harold Sackville-West bought the property in 1930 this room was the farm’s stable.  Over the years they transformed it into their library, inserting a large window on the north wall and installing wooden panelling and floor. Occasionally they used to entertain visitors, amongst them the Queen Mother and Sir Winston Churchill.  Over the next two years, their 11,000 book collection will be undergoing extensive conservation.  This work will be on view to the public during March/April and October  - do check our events page for updates.

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