St. Mary's House, Bramber:
500 Years of History

St. Mary's is a magnificent Grade I Historic House set in the downland village of Bramber.  It is surrounded by formal and topiary gardens with pools and fountains.

The origins of St. Mary's go back to the days of the Knights Templar when five acres of land were given to them by the widow of Philip de Braose, before the middle of the 12th century. The present building was constructed in about 1470 by William of Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester and founder of Magdalen College, Oxford. It was an inn for pilgrims on their way to the tomb of St. Thomas of Canterbury.

Public Open Afternoons

St Mary's House

From May to end of September:
Sunday, Thursday, Bank Holiday Monday -
open 2 to 6pm (last entry 5pm).

Morning coffee or country house teas
are available.

Visitors with disabilities:
There are staff to advise when needed,
clear print room guides in every room,
wheelchair access to the ground floor rooms
and gardens, and suitable toilet facilities.

Tour St. Mary's House
As a Visitor or With a Group

Tours begin with the early Norman period. The guides will talk about the monks and others who stayed at the house as a pilgrim inn. The marvellous Painted Room is said to have been prepared for the visit of Queen Elizabeth I. The King's Room is where Charles II is said to have stayed during his escape to France.

There are pieces of furniture and artefacts from many different periods. Yet the house is still a lived-in home rather than a "museum-piece". The modern blends with the old to emphasise the continuity of St. Mary's through its various ups and downs at different times in its history.

Group bookings are welcome for guided tours. St. Mary's is especially suitable for school parties.

Rose Garden
King's Room

There are also stunning gardens to enjoy at St. Mary's.

Everyone loves the topiary animals and the mysterious ivy-clad pergola known as the Monks' Walk, entered through a tunnel of yew. But there is so much more and these extensive gardens are a sheer delight.

At the end of your tour, visit the well-stocked gift shop selling souvenirs, collectables, books and music.

Concerts and Recitals
In the Elegant Music Room
The Music Room is an ideal setting for the popular St. Mary's House concerts and recitals. A varied programme continues throughout the year. Built in the 1890's as a grand venue for musical soirees and weekend house-parties, the Victorian Music Room has an elegant 19th century gothic appeal. Two 14th century ornately-carved stone chantry tombs serve as fireplaces. The colourful stained-glass windows add to the Victorian style.
The Perfect Location
For Business or Celebration
The atmospheric surroundings make St. Mary's a perfect venue for meetings, conferences, seminars, formal dinners and birthday or anniversary celebrations. It is also licensed for weddings. The Victorian Music Room seats 50 to 90 people. In addition there are other rooms available for smaller meetings. Car and coach parking is available in the grounds.
St Mary's Windows
The Friends:
Preserving St. Mary's

The Friends of St. Mary's work to secure the future of this historic house, its contents and its extensive gardens. Along with the owner, Peter Thorogood and the Curator, Roger Linton, they ensure that the house and gardens can continue to be enjoyed by many thousands of visitors each year. The St. Mary's House web site tells you how to join the Friends and gives further details about everything on this page:

St Mary's House Website

Postal address: St. Mary's House,
The Street, Bramber, West Sussex BN44 3WE
Telephone: +44 (0) 1903 816205


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Page last updated
16th August 2021