The garden at Monks House

Monk's House garden with Spring blooms and Church spire

A beautiful English country garden designed by Leonard Woolf with incredible views of the Sussex Downs. Virginia Woolf was greatly influenced by the garden and her short story 'The Orchard' was inspired by the garden at Monk's House.

When the Woolfs arrived at Monk's House, the garden was little more than an allotment in the ruins of old farm buildings. Half a century later, Leonard Woolf had overseen the creation of a beautiful English country garden full of ornamental beds, a charming orchard and enviable vegetable patch.

The garden rooms are based around the walls of the old buildings and create a warren of pathways and views to explore.

Virginia Woolf was greatly inspired by the garden and its stunning views over the Downs. She even had her writing room moved for a better view.

" Our orchard is the very place to sit and talk for hours"
- Virginia Woolf

Now it nestles in a corner of the garden under the spire of St Peters Church and has gorgeous views of Mount Caburn. Guests would be invited for a game of chess or bowls on lawn. Tea and debate would reign on long summer afternoons.

Both Virginia and Leonard's final resting places are in the gardens. Two intertwined elm trees, called 'Virginia' and 'Leonard' by the couple, stood on the edge of the dewpond.

Sadly one was felled by a storm in the 1940's and the other succumbed to dutch elm disease many years later. Today, busts of Virginia and Leonard Woolf mark their lives.