Saturday 9 April 2016

Bateman's-a celebration of poetry

One of the most repeated poems at our poetry teatimes is Kipling's Smuggler's Song. In addition, my husband has read The Jungle Book to one of the children. So it was time to visit Kipling's adult home, Bateman's. This is in a lovely part of the Sussex Weald and is owned by the National Trust. 

The house dates back to the seventeenth century

and is close to old smuggler haunts. We drove through Hawkhurst, home of the Hawkhurst Gang on our way. Beautiful now but probably rather unpleasant in the days of the smugglers.

The children loved the rather late Easter egg hunt which took us through the gardens,

to the wild flower meadow,

water wheel

and mill.

Hoping it wasn't too pretentious, we had hot chocolate and scones outside the coffee shop, in the walled garden, and read A Smuggler's Song.

The house doesn't feel enormous. It feels as though a family lived here. 

Probably, though, the most useful thing that I learned is that seven year olds concentrate much better when given a phone camera. Just don't forget to turn the flash off. Anyway, the photos of the house interior are a mixture of mine and my children's.
A clock older than the house.


Kipling's study-see the overflowing waste paper bin.

Recordings of Kipling's works were on this replica radio.

John Kipling's bedroom with his school uniform. He was killed aged just 18 in the First World War.

Model ship

Copies of Kipling's works.

A place worth visiting, partly to put context to Kipling's works and just because it is such a beautiful and child friendly place.

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  1. Wow! I love connecting authors with their works. It is neat to see some picutres of where he lived! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. It was interesting to read the Smuggler's Song which really fits with this house but I was struck by the contrast with some of his other works, for example, the Jungle Book, which fit more with Kipling's earlier life in India. Fascinating to think about the surroundings and the writing.