An architectural Grade I listed masterpiece of outstanding importance - the home of Gertrude Jekyll, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens with a garden by Miss Jekyll.
Munstead Wood is one of the finest examples of early modern English country houses and the first of the major collaborations between Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll, combining the design of house and garden. Together, they created a new form of English garden, whose influence remains strong today. The house was completed in 1896 and was the home of Gertrude Jekyll for over 35 years. The house has been lovingly looked after by the current owners who have lived there for over 50 years and who, during that time, have undertaken the restoration of the garden to its original Gertrude Jekyll designs. The house and the garden are Grade I listed.Sir Edwin Lutyens is a pivotal figure in 20th century British architecture. He was one of the most influential designers of exquisite country houses in the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, developing a unique and distinctive style at Munstead Wood which came to characterise his early country houses. His designs reflected the finest Arts and Crafts traditions, using local craftsmen and local materials. Gertrude Jekyll was the leading garden designer of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and remains one of the most influential garden designers of all time. Her work at Munstead Wood includes art and design within the house as well as the design and development of the garden. Miss Jekyll lived at Munstead Wood until her death in 1932 and is buried in the church at Busbridge – only a few hundred yards from her beloved Munstead Wood. Her memorial in the churchyard was designed by Edwin Lutyens.Munstead Wood was the first of many influential major collaborations between Edwin Lutyens and his first client, Gertrude Jekyll. The garden design partnership of Lutyens and Jekyll was “a symbiosisin which their talents dovetailed – with his architectural eye in designing garden layouts, landscaping and stone structures perfectly complemented by Jekyll's artistic use of colour and knowledge of plants” Vivienne Lewis, Country Gardener (2019).The house was completed in 1896. It is built of Bargate stone lined inside with brick following Arts and Crafts principles of using local materials and local craftsmen (Thomas Underwood) but combined with a more modernist approach (for example, the casement windows which are set flush with the outside walls). The house has long roofs of clay tiles and prominent brick chimneys. A feature of the construction is the outstanding solid oak joinery used throughout the house (employing wooden pegs rather than nails) – which is particularly visible in the celebrated Long Gallery. The house is built in a U-shape around a courtyard open on its north side. The west wing originally contained Jekyll's workshops, while the east side contained a service wing. On the house's south elevation, the tiled roof extends down to the top of the ground floor and is broken by two large gables. On the right of this elevation, a narrow, south-projecting porch wing has an arch - the house's main entrance - on its east side, where this wing forms a continuation of the house's east façade. The interior of the house contains a number of innovative designs by Lutyens and Jekyll – including the window furniture, doors, fireplaces and furniture. The garden – covering an area of approximately 11.2 acres - is an internationally recognised garden which has been substantially restored by the current owners to the original designs of Gertrude Jekyll. The designs follow the principles of 'wild gardening' and producing colour pictures and interest throughout the varying seasons - while not being “a slave to tidiness” and not attempting “to grow plants which do not like your soil”. To Miss Jekyll, the textures and shapes of leaves were important features as well as the combination of plants and