Explore Nymans house
Part ruin, part house, this medieval style manor is not as old as it seems. Ravaged by fire in 1947, the once Gothic mansion is now romantic ruins and unexpectedly charming rooms last occupied by Anne Messel in 1992.
What to see in the house at Nymans
Inside the house you will see small, intimate rooms furnished with tapestries, antique furniture, works of art and other treasures collected by Leonard and Maud Messel.
Paintings by their younger son, the renowned theatre designer Oliver Messel, are also on show. His sister Anne spent her last years here and was keen to preserve the unique feel of her parents’ home.
Although much of the house was lost to fire in the winter of 1947, surviving rooms include the Garden Hall, Dining Room, Book Room and Library.
Look out for paintings by stage designer Oliver Messel, family photographs and a collection of books, many of which relate to gardening.
Throughout the year the Broadwood piano in the Garden Hall is played by volunteers, filling the intimate spaces of the house with atmospheric music.
Some of the rooms are dark, which helps protect the original textiles and paintings.
The house and gallery close for short periods throughout the year for conservation cleaning.
Romantic ruins, intimate gardens and internationally recognised plant collections all set against a backdrop of woodland and far-reaching views.
Nymans’ ancient woodland is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), nature reserve and home to a variety of plants and wildlife. Here’s what to look out for.
Join us for a Nutcracker Christmas at Nymans with an imaginative garden trail inspired by this classic tale and a house filled with dazzling festive ornaments, laid out for a sweety banquet in the Garden Hall. Meet a giant nutcracker soldier and the Sugar Plum Fairy on the 16, 17 & 18 Dec and see Matthew Bourne’s costumes from the ballet Nutcracker! on display in the Gallery. Join a family workshop for willow weaving and share photos of your day with us @NymansNT.
Under generations of the Messel family, Nymans in West Sussex has been through several transformations since the 1890s to become the house, ruin and garden you see today.
If you're after a meal or just a quick pit-stop, try our winter menu with freshly prepared food inspired by the season. Quick snacks and delicious cakes prepared by our chefs are always popular too, especially after a walk in the woodland or garden.
Browse local and artisan products at Nymans, one of the most popular National Trust bookshops, and a wide range of plants - including some grown on site in ‘The Nymans Collection’.
Historic buildings are a treasure trove of stories, art and collections. Learn more about what makes these places so special and plan your visit.