The South Downs is full of hidden treasures but one of Chichester Copywriter’s most favourite local spots to take a picnic and read beneath the shade of a tree with the rolling hills before her is Uppark, near Chichester. And if it’s good enough to inspire the writing of HG Wells…
Chichester Copywriter has been making the most of her National Trust membership this year by visiting this delightful house, home to the Fetherstonhaughs since 1747. The house is steeped in history; you can discover the world of Sir Harry, Lady Emma Hamilton and the dairymaid who married her master (a personal favourite of Kate’s).
What’s more, you can explore the underground world of the servants, as described in the writing of HG Wells. The author, whose mother was a housekeeper at the property, visited here as a boy and his writing was inspired by its beauty. Uppark appears as Bladesover in Wells’ novel Tonio Bungay and details of life at Uppark are also reflected in The Time Machine.
The underground tunnels also provide homes for some of our endangered wildlife. There are bats roosting and shrews nesting, and what better place could they chose to live?
The house may have fabulous inhabitants, past and present, but it has seen bleaker times too. Skilled craftsmen and conservators have done a wonderful job restoring the building and its contents to former glory since a devastating fire gutted the interior in 1989.
But the house is by no means all this place has to offer. Chichester Copywriter loves to take tea out on the lawn with its panoramic views across the Downs to the sea. Kate also likes nothing better than visiting the gardens to see how they change with the seasons and sheltering under the grand weeping willow that conceals a cosy bench beneath its boughs; ideal when they wet weather comes in.
Here are some of those views that most inspire our West Sussex copywriter: