Visiting the house at Bateman's
Bateman's is a Jacobean house, the date of 1634 is marked around the door. Set in the beautiful landscape of the Sussex Weald, Rudyard Kipling and his wife Caroline bought it in 1902 after falling in love with it. They lived here until their deaths in 1936 and 1939. Discover the rooms of the house just as the Kipling family left them.
Visiting the house with a bag
Due to small rooms and to help look after collection items, we ask that if you bring a rucksack into the house, you wear it on your front.
Talk to the experts
The volunteer guides at Bateman’s have a wealth of knowledge about this place and the family which they love to share. Discover the fascinating story behind Rudyard Kipling’s family tree and his connections to Pre-Raphaelite artists, prime ministers and a fashionable reservoir in Staffordshire. Learn more about his wife and children, their life at Bateman’s, and the work of this Nobel prize winning author.
Highlights of the house
The front door leads into a hall with local oak panelling and a black and white floor, arranged around a large stone fireplace. Mrs Kipling had an office on the mezzanine, where she could keep an eye on unexpected guests arriving from the window.
In the hallway you can discover the intriguing story behind the brass fish and listen to the chimes of one of the oldest working clocks in the National Trust’s collection.
The Dining Room
The walls of the Dining Room are decorated with embossed leather wallhangings, inspired by Indian chintz designs. They are covered with silver leaf and then varnished to make them glisten like gold.
‘The leather has been bought and is now in our possession. It is lovelier than our wildest dreams and will need immense care.’
– Rudyard Kipling in a letter to his cousin Ambrose Poynter
Mrs Kipling ran a tight ship: dinner was always at eight o’clock sharp, and everyone had to dress in their finery, even if there weren’t any guests. Dinner was usually a bland affair due to Rudyard’s stomach ulcers, and the family were restricted to dull meals such as steamed fish and blancmange. However, guests always commented that the wine was very good!
Rudyard Kipling’s study
As you enter the Study it almost feels as though Kipling has just left and will return at any moment. The book-lined walls, his messy desk covered in ink spots and the day bed, with its cigarette burns, are evidence that this was very much his space. It is while looking out of this window onto the Dudwell valley, that Kipling was inspired to write his books Puck of Pook's Hill and Rewards and Fairies, which includes the famous poem If.
The Exhibition Room
The exhibition room introduces Kipling and his work through highlight objects from the collection. These include his Nobel Prize and a necklace made for Kipling based on his description and drawing in the story ‘How the Alphabet Was Made’.
Discover the garden at Bateman's. Find out what to see, from the Rose Garden designed by Kipling to wildflowers, an orchard and even a working mill.
Discover the history of Bateman's. Explore its 17th-century beginnings and why the house and garden were so special to Rudyard Kipling and his family.
Historic buildings are a treasure trove of stories, art and collections. Learn more about what makes these places so special and plan your visit.