Bateman’s: The Writer’s Home
Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, this 17th-century house provided a much-needed sanctuary to the world-famous writer Rudyard Kipling. The rooms remain much as he left them, with oak furniture, Persian rugs and artefacts reflecting his strong association with India. Kipling was inspired by his surroundings and wrote many of his works at Bateman’s including Puck of Pook’s Hill and Rewards and Fairies, which includes the poem ‘If’.
The pond in the Rose Garden at Bateman’s, East Sussex. ©National Trust Images/David Sellman. 152044
Now looked after by the National Trust, Bateman’s is very much a family home that feels as though the Kiplings have just gone out for the day. Located just outside Burwash, the house and garden are open daily for summer visits. You’ll find plenty of space for a peaceful catchup with friends or to bring the whole family together.
Exploring the house
The Kiplings bought Bateman’s in 1902 after falling in love with it. The front door leads into a hall with oak panelling where you can listen to the chimes of a working clock dating back to the 1600s. The walls of the Dining Room are decorated with embossed leather wall-hangings, inspired by Indian chintz designs.
As you enter the Study, with its book-lined walls and messy desk covered in ink spots, it feels as though Kipling has just left and will return at any moment. See highlight objects from the collection in the Exhibition Room, including the Nobel Prize for literature which Kipling was awarded in 1907.
The Landing at Bateman’s, East Sussex. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel. 1035050
The Dining Room at Bateman’s, East Sussex.©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel. 1035064
Main desk in the Study at Bateman’s, East Sussex. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel. 1035043
Celebrating writing with summer events
Bateman’s celebrates writing through special events this summer. For a quick refresher on Kipling, join a 10-minute intro talk on selected dates. There’s the chance to try your hand at bookbinding with Bookbinders of Lewes on 18 June. Hear about the fascinating objects in Kipling’s study with the collections team. Poetry readings for adults and family-friendly storytelling sessions take place in the garden. In the holidays, families can join a garden trail inspired by Kipling’s characters from The Jungle Book. Find out more on the National Trust website.
Make a day of it
Through the Wild Garden and over a river bridge perfect for Pooh Sticks, you’ll find Park Mill open to look around. This watermill was much loved by Kipling and features in his writing.
The beautiful surrounding landscape is waiting to be discovered along three waymarked walks. In summer, see clouds of butterflies around wildflowers in the hay meadows and meander past dragonflies darting over shaded ponds.
Families with little ones will love the natural play area with swings, climbing frames and space for den-making.
The Oast-house shop has a great selection of gifts, homewares and artisan products, or hunt for pre-loved books in the bookshop. Both help to fund conservation work to look after Bateman’s for generations to come.
View of the house over the lily pond at Bateman’s, East Sussex. ©National Trust Images/Laurence Perry. 1676929
Entry is free for National Trust members. For opening times, prices and walking routes visit
Detail of leather wall hangings in the Dining Room at Bateman’s, East Sussex. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel. 1035066