Skip to content

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

Discover more at Monk's House

Find out when Monk's House is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

You might also be interested in

Virginia Woolf's bedroom at Monk's House, East Sussex
Article
Article

The history of Monk’s House 

Find out about this 17th-century house and its journey from farmstead to mill-owner’s residence and finally the home and retreat of well-known writers Virginia and Leonard Woolf.

The house seen from the garden in summer at Monk's House, East Sussex
Article
Article

Explore the house at Monk’s House 

Explore inside this house full of Bloomsbury Group treasures, including works by Vanessa Bell. Imagine how the house became a writer’s haven for Leonard and Virginia Woolf.

Bust of Virginia Woolf in the garden of Monk's House, East Sussex
Article
Article

Who was Virginia Woolf? 

The author Virginia Woolf was a leading light of the Bloomsbury movement in the early 20th century. Her life was shaped by her unconventional approach to gender and sexuality.

A volunteer room guide talks to a visitor at Greenway in Devon
Article
Article

Volunteer with us at Monk's House 

Find out about the kind of volunteering opportunities we have on offer, from gardening to room guiding. Join our friendly team to learn new skills, meet new people and have fun.

Rudyard Kipling's writing desk in the study at Bateman's, East Sussex
Article
Article

Places with literary connections 

Visit some of the places we look after that have inspired famous writers, playwrights and poets, including the homes of Beatrix Potter, Virginia Woolf and Thomas Hardy.

Sunrise over Croome, Worcestershire

Gardens and parks 

From 18th-century water gardens and Arts and Crafts landscapes to intimate woodland gardens, there are so many places to discover.

A gardener tending to the borders at Kingston Lacy, Dorset

Gardening tips 

Discover our gardeners’ top tips so you can make the most of your garden, plot or window box.

View lit by late sun, from a frosty rockery with low plants and a tall palm tree, up to a ruined house folly

Gardens in Sussex 

Beautiful gardens are found all over Sussex. The romantic gardens at Nymans and Bateman's; and Capability Brown landscapes at Sheffield Park and Petworth are all yours to explore.