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Exceedingly Mr Kipling

Visited Bateman’s Rudyard Kipling’ home in Burwash, although it is probably better to visit on a warmer day and not one in torrential rain but,,, was still an interesting afternoon. 

We drove across past Bodium Castle, on to Etchingham then Burwash took about 40 mins. 

The house was built in 1634 and is smaller than envisaged. While Kipling was a man who appreciated innovation a lot of the house is very much in its original state, or as near as.  The contents and the house were left to English heritage by his daughter and represent her parents life there.   

A little disappointed and sorry to say but, English Heritage has flogged his Jungle Book theme to death and missed out on providing more information on the full breadth and depth of his career/work, the man himself, his family on both sides and his children. As you move through the house there are snippets but you don't end up leaving with a strong understanding of who they were etc. 

Kipling's car is an interesting exhibit as is the old mill where he generated electricity as an early adopter.  Again, English Heritage has let Kipling and the visitor experience down by not investing more time in displaying the early water-powered generator and explaining how the system worked. Sticking an odd notice on the wall of a deteriorating shed is inadequate and the installation has been left decaying which is hardly heritage preservation, soon the dynamo will be a pile of rust. It would not cost much (even a like of paint would help) to make what was an early adoption of an emerging technology in the home very informative especially to students studying GCSC, and visitors interested in science and engineering.


The staff are very pleasant and answer questions so recommend interacting with them to learn more about Kipling's home. The formal gardens while dormant when we visited will be beautiful in bloom.


Parking in the car park is £4 for all day.  There is a footpath up into Burwash which I would recommend visitors to stretch their legs and walk up into the high street.  Walk up and down and see the architecture, and its former use from the plaques, and possibly pop in for refreshments in one of the two pubs. Burwash is an interesting village for a stroll.


We took a scenic drive back to Etchingham, then turned left towards London on A21, after about 1 mile, take right and popped into Merriment Nursery.  From here on to Hawkhurst, shop something nice for tea, and back to the cottage. Suggest best visited on a worm day either AM or PM. Going early in peak periods is probably best advised. The upside of going in torrential rain was it was very quiet so plenty of time

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