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Explore Nymans house

The Library at Nymans
The Library at Nymans | © National Trust Images / Andreas von Einsiedel.

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.

Anne Messel's desk beneath the window in The Library, Nymans, West Sussex. Anne, later Lady Rosse, was the the granddaughter of Ludwig Messel, who bought the Nymans Estate in the 1890s, extending the house and founding its stunning gardens.
Anne Messel's desk beneath the window in The Library at Nymans | © National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

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.

The Forecourt Garden at Nymans, West Sussex in June

Discover more at Nymans

Find out when Nymans is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Romantic ruins, intimate gardens and internationally recognised plant collections all set against a backdrop of woodland and far-reaching views.

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Explore Nymans’ woodlands and wider estate 

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.

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Family-friendly things to do at Nymans 

With natural play in the Play Glade, activities and events in the school holidays and an ancient woodland and garden to discover, there's lots of fun for families at Nymans. Picnic anywhere in the garden, or pick up a snack from the cafe or kiosk. Baby change available by the house and in the cafe and car park.

The Gothic ruins at Nymans, West Sussex in spring

The history of Nymans house and garden 

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.

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Eating at Nymans 

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.

A selection of throws hung up on a wall with one draped on a chair

Shopping at Nymans 

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’.

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Houses and buildings 

Historic buildings are a treasure trove of stories, art and collections. Learn more about their histories and plan your next visit.

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Houses and buildings in Sussex 

From the art gallery at Petworth, to a cosy Arts and Crafts home at Standen, you'll be amazed at the variety of houses and unusual buildings to explore in Sussex.