A garden for all seasons, with rare and unusual plant collections, set around a romantic house and partial ruins. The comfortable, yet elegant, house reflects the personalities and stories of the talented Messel family. In spring see blossom, bulbs and a stunning collection of subtly fragranced magnolias. The Rose Garden, inspired by Maud Messel’s 1920s design, is scented by hints of old-fashioned roses. Dramatic shows of vibrant native tree colour in autumn precede winter’s structural form, with pockets of perfumed daphne throughout the garden. Discover hidden corners through stone archways, walk along tree-lined avenues while surrounded by the lush countryside of the Sussex Weald. The adjoining woodland, with lake and bird hides, has plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife.
There have been generations of Messels at Nymans since the 1890s. Ludwig Messel was the first Messel to live at Nymans and bought the 600 acre Nymans estate where he could cultivate his love of gardening, sharing it with family and friends. He and his wife Annie had six children with the eldest, Leonard, inheriting the estate in 1915.
Leonard, together with his wife Maud, set about transforming Nymans into the house we see here today. Most of the house was destroyed by fire in 1947, tragically only 19 years after building work finished. What survived of the house was made safe for the family to use as a base when visiting the magnificent garden. The 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. Make time on your visit to enjoy afternoon tea and cake in the new Riding House Tea-room, browse the shop and garden centre or join one of the guided tours and walks which are available daily and led by our knowledgeable garden guides, who'll share a wealth of knowledge, pointing out the highlights of the season and the stars of our special plant collection. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nymans to find out more.
Opening Times: Gardens; 1 Jan-31 Oct 10am-5pm, 1 Nov-31 Dec 10am-4pm. House open all year 11am-4pm* *House closed 4-22 January, 25 April-31 July, 31 October-18 November. Gardens and House closed 24 & 25 December
Admission Rates: Adult (GA) £16.50 Adult (S) £15.00. Child (GA) £8.30 Child (S) £7.50 Family (2 adults, 2 children) £41.30 Family (1 adult, 2 children) £22.50 Group Rates: Group - Adult £14.25 Group – Child £7.13. Groups must pre book.
Facilities: Visitor Centre, shop, plant sales, cafe, teas, gallery.
Disabled Access: Yes, wheelchair loan available, accessible toilets on site.
Tours/Events: Guided tours and trails available. Mobility buggy tours of garden and woods. Events include family activities, gardening workshops, woodland wildlife walks, creative workshops.
Parking: Yes, coach and car parking available.
Length of Visit: 3 hours
Booking Contact: 01444 405250
Location: Handcross, 5 miles south of Crawley.
See www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nymans for directions
Updated: April 2022