Nestled in the South Downs, Charleston was the country meeting place for the writers, painters and thinkers known as the Bloomsbury group. It is now considered to be one of the world’s best small museums.

Charleston is presented to look as it did when the family lived here.

To protect the atmosphere and collection, entry to the house is timed and limited. During popular times you may not be able enter the house straightaway. On very busy days we can sell out of tickets altogether. There are plenty of other things to see and do at Charleston.

Charleston’s walled garden was created by the artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant to designs by Roger Fry.

Together they transformed vegetable plots and hen runs, essential to the household during the First World War, into a quintessential painters’ garden mixing Mediterranean influences with cottage garden planting. In the 1920s a grid of gravel paths gave structure to beds of plants chosen by Grant and Bell for their intense colour and silver foliage. These became the subject of many still lifes over their long residence at Charleston.

Part of the garden’s sense of luxuriance and surprise comes from the variety of sculpture it contains. Classical forms sit side by side with lifesize works by Quentin Bell, mosaic pavements and tile-edged pools. The orchard offers shade from the sun and the pond a focus for tranquil contemplation.

The Studio Cafe is delighted to open its doors and welcome our visitors to enjoy its cosy and relaxed atmosphere.

Enjoy from our menu of freshly prepared food, teas, coffees, cakes, beer, wine and soft drinks.

Housed in Charleston’s historic out-buildings, comprising of the Outer Studio, Apple Shed, Garage and Folly Garden.

Guide Prices

Adults - £12.50

Children (6-18 years) House tour not suitable for small children - £7.50

Disabled (ground floor only) - £7.50

Concessions (Students/60+/Unemployed or receiving benefits – proof required) - £11.50

Family ticket (up to 2 adults and up to 4 children) - £34.00

Garden only -
Adults - £4.50

Children - £2.50

If you are a UK taxpayer and you pay our higher, Gift Aided ticket price, the Charleston Trust can then claim back 25% from the government. As an independent charity, this additional income is very valuable to us.



  • On-site light refreshments


  • Free Parking

Property Facilities

  • Public toilets

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted


Map & Directions


Type:Historic House

Firle, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6LL
Close window

Call direct on:

Tel01323 811626

Opening Times

* Shop, ticket office and café open 1 hour before the house.

Sunday from 1 March – 29 October 2017, open Wednesday to Sunday

March, April, May, June, September and October:
12.00 – 5.00pm
Last entry 4.00pm

July & August:
11.30am – 5.30pm
Last entry 4.30pm

Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays

12.00 – 5.00pm
Last entry 4.00pm

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Eastbourne Visitor Centre, Welcome Building, Compton Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4BP

01323 415415

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