2017 - Charleston Farmhouse & Firle Place

Firle Place (photo: Nick Withers)

May 2017: Charleston Farmhouse & Firle Place

Some 48 members of the Oxted & District History Society and their friends enjoyed their summer outing, in perfect summer weather, to Charleston Farmhouse and Firle Place, near Lewes, organised by Trevor Burrage.

Travelling by coach from Oxted, the party first toured Charleston Farmhouse, the country home of the Bloomsbury Group, an influential network of writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists, including sisters, Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell and their husbands as well as E. M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, Lytton Strachey, Duncan Grant and David Garnett. The tourists inspected the paintings, murals and books painted and collected by the Group and visited the gardens that the circle enjoyed.

They then visited Firle Place, the nearby country seat of the Gage family, where they enjoyed a two-course lunch, followed by a guided tour of the house, with its magnificent collection of paintings, books, furniture and porcelain.

Members of the Gage family are noted for introducing the greengage to Britain in the 17th Century, commanding the British Army in North America in the 18th Century and for having the Gagea, genus of lilies named after the family. After tea the group returned by coach to Oxted.