Great Storm exhibition

Nymans main lawn after the storm

On the night of 16th October 1987, a devastating storm tore through the South and East of England. 18 people lost their lives and an incredible 15 million trees were brought down.

Clearing up after the Great Storm
Clearing up after the Great Storm
Clearing up after the Great Storm

 Monkey Puzzle Tree

At Nymans, 80% of our mature trees were lost. Among them was a 130 year old monkey puzzle tree on the Main Lawn, a particular favourite of the Countess of Rosse, who later likened its loss to ‘a friend dying’. The Pinetum was devastated and would take generations to recover. The scenes were heartbreaking for everyone who loved Nymans.

Nymans garden team 1987
Nymans garden team 1987
Nymans garden team 1987

The team on the ground

The immediate aftermath was dealt with by a small team of gardeners, led by David Masters, Head Gardener here in 1987. At that time, Nymans was managed with very limited resources and was not equipped for a task of this size and nature. The National Trust’s ‘Tree and Storm Disaster Appeal’ was launched in the days after the storm and meant that places like Nymans were able to hire contractors and heavy machinery so desperately needed for the clear-up operation.

Nymans newspaper cutting
Nymans newspaper cutting
Nymans newspaper cutting

Commemorative Exhibition

In the 30th anniversary year of the Great Storm, A break in the clouds gathers a unique selection of stories, photographs and archive items given to Nymans by the people working here at the time. Looking at the immediate impact and the longer term implications, the exhibition is a poignant reminder of a pivotal moment in Nymans’ history.

A break in the clouds: emerging from the Great Storm – 1 July 2017 – 19 November 2017, 11am – 3.30pm daily