Long Barn

Long Barn

Long Barn

Long Barn

Long Barn

Long Barn

Long Barn

Long Barn has a fascinating history with part of the original house dating back to the 1400’s.

In 1913, a Mrs. Gillian Gilchrist Thompson, began restoring the house itself. Her work was continued by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson when they bought the house in 1915. They had gardened together in what was then Constantinople for about a year and Long Barn was where they developed the style that they were to take to Sissinghurst Castle in later years.

Ann Scott James, in her book, Sissinghurst, The Making of a Garden, describes this time as their ‘apprenticeship’. Certainly there are very recognisable similarities between the two gardens, not only because they were both blank canvases and ‘formless’ before Vita and Harold wove their magic on both sites, but because of Harold’s distinctive design concepts and Vita’s planting schemes. Long Barn was owned by the Nicolsons for thirty years.

They left in 1930, only to let the house to an eclectic series of people including the first great media ‘baron’, Sidney Bernstein, and the American aviator, Charles Lindbergh, and his wife, Ann Morrow Lindbergh, who was both a writer and a fellow aviator. The Lindberghs came to the house in 1936 after the traumatic kidnap of their first child in the USA. They found Long Barn to be a ‘healing’ house in the two years they were there and found some peace after their ordeal. Many other people have lived at Long Barn since this time and now the house and its garden are being looked after and loved by the current owners. Long Barn is open only by private appointment.

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