Rising from the ashes: the story of Nymans' fire

The ruins in autumn

It’s 75 years since the Messel family’s dream house in the country was almost destroyed by a catastrophic fire.

View from the ruins to the house
View from the ruins to the house
View from the ruins to the house

On a freezing winter’s night in 1947, their cherished horticultural library of international significance went up in flames, as did a Velasquez painting that hung in the library. Luckily no one was injured. With typical resilience the family set about turning tragedy to opportunity, focusing again on nurturing the garden with the romantic ruins at its heart. Their legacy was one of hope, experimentation and creativity, still evident today in the stunning grade II* listed garden displaying one of the most significant plant collections in the UK.   

This is the first time the gallery has opened in almost two years

Opens Sat 22 Jan until Mon 25 April 2022, 10am - 4pm.