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Charleston, an old farmhouse set in the stunning landscape of the South Downs, was the country meeting place for the writers, painters and intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group. The artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant moved there in 1916 and immediately began to transform the house with decorations, painting the walls, doors, furniture and ceramics. Clive Bell and Maynard Keynes lived at Charleston for considerable periods and Virginia Woolf, E M Forster, Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry were frequent visitors. The guided tours are full of anecdotes about these characters and add a human dimension to this unique and personal place. Charleston also houses a wonderful collection of works by artists such as Renoir, Picasso and Sickett. Visitors can also explore the garden, with its orchard, mosaics, statues and ponds. The Charleston Gallery shows an exciting programme of exhibitions and the shop is Crafts Council selected.

Charleston, Sussex Gardens open to the public



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