Last week Millman Street Centre members enjoyed a day trip to the historic Nyman Gardens in Sussex.  Once home to the Messel Family, the Nyman House is now preserved for posterity by the National Trust.

Mulageta, who has an interest in historical buildings, enjoyed the outing, and said it was “Very nice,” adding that it “used to be a palace”.  The grounds also included a pinetum, a lily pond and an Exhibition about the mysteries of the Nymans.

Ivy said that the “Gardens went on for miles,”  adding that there were also “Streets and alleyways”.  She said of the staff that the “People were so nice; they couldn’t help you enough, and told you the history of the place.”  And also about the “plants and trees, and how long they’d been (growing) there.

There were hundreds of plants in the nursery, and helpful staff told members their Latin names as well as English equivalents.

Fred recalled that in the House, there were “lots of musical instruments and knick-knacks.”  In the gardens, he and Olive chatted to various owners of a huge variety of dogs, and enjoyed petting them.   They also loved the “fresh, clean air in our lungs.”  The bucolic surroundings reminded Fred of how he’d “grown potatoes and gathered acorns to feed pigs and fatten ’em up” during the blitz, when he’d lived in Brentwood.

Some members took the opportunity to ride in the carriages (see slideshow), and also rested in the well-kept gardens on benches, enjoying spectacular views of the South Downs in the distance.  Fortunately, the weather kept nice.

Ken said the exhibition was “Very interesting.  The original (partly 14th Century) building was left in situ” when it came under the protection of the NT.  Among the exhibits were pictures of the Queen Mother, and assorted Dukes and Duchesses whom the Nymans had been close to.  Ken also recalled how he, Lily and Veronica had walked along the old stone paving, and learned that the building had once been a castle and monastery.  “The garden was very nice,” he said.  “There were giant palm trees, and a rose garden whose scent was beautiful.”

All in all, members enjoyed this latest outing, and Ivy spoke for many when she said she’d “love to go back again.”

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