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Discover the garden at Monk’s House

Dahlias in the garden at Monk's House, East Sussex
Dahlias in the garden at Monk's House | © National Trust Images/David Sellman

Monk’s House is home to a beautiful English country garden designed by Leonard Woolf, surrounded by incredible views of the Sussex Downs. With borders packed full of herbaceous perennials, climbers adorning flint walls, a productive orchard and water features, this compact garden is as charming as the house itself.

Garden rooms

Created as a series of spaces, the garden rooms are based around the walls of the old piggeries and outbuildings, linked by a warren of brick pathways with herbaceous borders and pockets of lawn with views to explore.

Italian Garden

Taking inspiration from visits to Italy, this formal space houses a brick terrace and incorporates a pond, stone figurines and urns as well as peacock topiary. Mature trees and shrubs create the feeling of a peaceful garden enclosure.

The orchard

The orchard abounds with blossom from March to May from the many fruit trees on offer with many varieties of apples as well as pears, quinces, plums and medlars.

The garden in summer at Monk's House, East Sussex
The garden in summer at Monk's House | © National Trust Images/Caroline Arber

Leonard’s long border and terrace lawn

This newly reinstated border provides a pop of colour on the edge of the large terrace lawn where Virginia and Leonard played bowls nightly. With deckchairs and bowls to try, the view towards Mount Caburn and the surrounding South Downs dominates.

A productive vegetable garden

Now run as community allotments, Leonard Woolf’s old vegetable garden is as productive now as it always was. Bordered by mature mulberry and walnut trees and overlooked by the churchyard of St Peters, these plots are bursting with flowers, fruit and vegetables.

A fitting memorial to Virginia and Leonard

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 1940s, and the other succumbed to Dutch elm disease many years later. Today, two lime trees mark the location of the original elms as well as plaques and busts of Virginia and Leonard Woolf marking their lives.

Visitor exploring the garden at Monk's House, East Sussex

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