The Messel family home
The house as you see it today reflects the personalty of Anne, Countess of Rosse, who lived here in the 1980s.
This year the house will be open throughout the winter months. Seasonal floral arrangements will complement the beautiful autumn colour found throughout the garden and woods, and from the 23rd of November the house will be decorated for Christmas.
To celebrate Quentin Blake’s ‘The Story of the Dancing Frog’, the house will be full of frogs, created by the Nymans Needlework Guild, in addition to a display of books gifted by the Messel family at Christmas.
The decorations hung on the tree in the Garden Hall belonged to the Countess of Rosse and would have been used to decorate her tree in the 1980s when she lived at Nymans. Some date from the 1950s. Find a small display of some of her festive decorations in the Dining Room corridor.
Continuing with the froggy theme, you will be able to see our very own frog! For many years we believed that one of the most popular pieces in our collection, a green ceramic frog, was a centuries old earthquake detector originating from East Asia. However, in 2017 Antiques Roadshow expert Adam Shoon told us that the frog would have been filled with sand and used to hold incense sticks.
We’ve discovered brown long-eared bats roosting in our cellars. During the summer, brown long-eared bats can often be found roosting in old buildings, making our cellars a perfect location for them to roost undisturbed with a plentiful diet of insects available to them.
We found around half a dozen bats in the cellar, not realising what species they were until they were active and moving around as their famously long ears were curled up while they huddled together, resting. We expect the bats to stay with us for a little longer until they find another place to roost for the winter. The Bat Conservation Trust states that long-eared bats ‘like to hibernate at very cold temperatures, often just above freezing point’ and can often be found in ‘caves, tunnels, mines, ice-houses, and occasionally even trees and buildings’.
If you would like to find out more about the different species of bat found in the UK you can visit The Bat Conservation Trust.
Opening the ruined part of the house
From late spring 2020, we're delighted to be partially opening the ruins, so visitors can explore them freely for the first time ever. Over the past three years we have been raising money to repair masonry within the ruins, making them safe to explore. We will continue to raise money for the ruins project, allowing us to open more areas in the years to come.
Nymans house is open every day 11am until 3.30pm.