Winter conservation of Bateman's

Front view of Bateman's

The 17th century house, beloved by Kipling and his family, welcomes many thousands of visitors each year, particularly during the busy summer months. In the quieter winter months, we use the time to carry out essential conservation work and will be offering guided conservation tours on weekdays. This article was written for events happening in Jan - Feb 2020, look out for updates for 2021.

A good and a peaceable place

This is how Rudyard Kipling described his beloved family home of Bateman's,a 17th century house set in the stunning landscape of the Sussex Weald.

During the summer, with larger numbers of visitors, it can be less of a peaceable place and the constant traffic through the house brings in dust and dirt that settles on the collection. For our team of conservators winter is a welcome time when, with less visitors, they can work to keep things in good order ready for the next summer.

Bateman's study
Batemans East Sussex book collection in the study
Bateman's study

Conservation tours

During the winter time we carry out essential conservation work in the house. This is vital to ensure the upkeep of all the precious and irreplaceable items that make this place special.

The house will remain open as usual, but during weekdays access will be via a guided Conservation tour only.  This helps us to complete this important work whilst keeping the house open to visitors. 

Conservation tours will run between Mon 6 January - Fri 14 February - Monday - Friday only. 

Tours will be guided by our volunteers and provide insights into the conservation process including topics such as deep cleaning the house and the fabric of the building; furniture, textiles, floors, lights, polishing metalwork, books etc. There also will be opportunities to see iitems which aren't usually particularly visible.  Visitors will be able to see the house conservation team at work and have the chance to ask questions about the jobs in hand.

Furniture covered in dust sheets
  • No need to pre-book. Visitors will be offered the next available tour on arrival at our visitor reception. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment as tours can sometimes fill up quickly.
  • Free event
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • We regret that we cannot accommodate pushchairs or buggies on the tours
  • Manual wheelchair access is only possible to the ground floor of the house. Please check in advance of your visit to ensure that there are no room closure restrictions which will make a wheelchair visit inpracticable.
  • During weekends there will be no tours, visitors will be free to look around the house themselves.