National Trust, National Treasures, Bateman's on DVD.
National Trust: National Treasures is a private tour of a selection of The National Trust's spectacular houses, castles and abbeys. Here, the beautiful, 17th-century Jacobean house in East Sussex that was for many years Rudyard Kipling's family home - Burwash, Bateman's.
- An artsworld production
- An exclusive private tour of a National Trust property
- Approximately 1 hour running time
In a world of late trains, lousy weather and international sporting losses, it's easy to forget the things Britain is uniquely good at. Constitutional monarchies, for example, or Marmite, depending on your point of view. But perhaps best of all is The National Trust. Where would we be without the Trust's meticulously-preserved historic houses, beautifully-tended gardens or, (let's face it) diet-endingly delicious cream teas?
The National Trust was founded in 1895 by Victorian philanthropists. Over a century later, it now looks after over 612,000 acres of countryside in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 700-plus miles of coastline and over 200 houses and gardens, monuments and mills, and churches and chapels of outstanding interest and importance.
This series, National Trust: National Treasures examines a selection of these properties in detail. It takes you on a private guided tour of the selected properties, charting each of their often colourful histories and revealing a selection of their art treasures - from 17th-century tapestries and Renaissance stained glass to sculptures by Henry Moore and oriental rugs - with the help of the Trust's many and varied experts. Atmospheric, lavishly-shot and with great attention to detail and illuminating explanations from members of the properties' staff, it's almost as good a good as being there - although of course, you do have to provide your own scones and jam…
The interior of this beautiful 17th-century house, Rudyard Kipling's home from 1902 to 1936, reflects the author's strong associations with the East. There are many oriental rugs and artefacts, and most of the rooms - including his book-lined study - are much as Kipling left them. The delightful grounds run down to the small River Dudwell with its watermill, and contain roses, wild flowers, fruit and herbs.
Bateman's was built around 1634, probably by a local Wealden ironmaster. The house itself is built of local sandstone, quarried from a site across the lane, the tiles are all baked from Wealden clay and the internal structures and interior woodwork is made from local Sussex oak.
Rudyard Kipling bought Bateman's in 1902.He and his American wife, Carrie, purchased the house, along with the surrounding buildings, mill and 33 acres for £9,300. It had no bathroom, no running water upstairs and no electricity but Kipling loved it and it was his idea of the perfect home; a sanctuary, private and protective, away from the noise of village and road, embedded in the richly wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald - 'A real House in which to settle down for keeps,' was how Kipling described it in his autobiography.
Among the house's many delights is the Rose Garden. An avenue of pleached limes had been planted in 1898 before Kipling arrived but a pond, the Rose Garden at the far end and encircling yew hedges were all aid out according to his own design, which still hangs in his study. The garden was paid for out of the £7,700 he received for the Nobel Prize in 1907.
The present mill building was erected around 1750. An original mill dated from the 13th century, but within weeks of Kipling's arrival he removed the 18th-century mechanism and had installed a water turbine, which drove a generator, supplying enough current to light ten 60-watt bulbs in the house for about four hours every evening. In 1968-75, the building, which had fallen into a sad state of disrepair, was restored along with its contents.
Also part of the house's attraction is Kipling's Rolls Royce. Kipling was one of those pioneer motorists for whom a short drive in a 'horseless carriage' was an adventure. He owned a number of Lanchesters and Roll Royces and his Phantom I, which he bought in 1928, remains at the property.
Rudyard Kipling died in 1936 and Carrie continued to live at Bateman's until her death in 1939, when she bequeathed the estate to the National Trust as a memorial to her late husband. Today, the house is shown as it was in his time, filled with the traces and memories of his extraordinary life and work