Last weekend I went to Virginia and Leonard Woolf's home, Monk's House, near Lewes in Sussex with my mother and daughter. I have been here before years ago on a trip with the Women's Farm and Garden Association, which took in all the Bloomsbury gardens in the south east, not least Sissinghurst, but the one place which has stuck in my mind is Monk's House.
I think because it reminds me a great deal of the house I spent a lot of time in as a child with my great-aunt in West Sussex, with cool dark rooms, decorated very much in the style of the 20's and 30's, very simply and almost sparse in it's decoration. Monk's House however has quite a lot of work made by Virgina's sister, Vanessa Bell, who lived at Charleston, another one of my most favourite houses in this part of the world.
The garden is divided into rooms, with an orchard, lawn, mixed perennial borders, a pond, vegetable garden and a wonderful summerhouse/study where Virginia used to write. It looks over the South Downs and a small church nestles on the other side of the boundary wall. Despite the hoards of visitors, it was still peaceful and idyllic and I can see why she and her husband chose to weekend there.
They did'nt slum it altogether and bought their cook with them on their visits! There is a sense of sadness to the place however, as it was from here that she got up one day and walked to the river, filled her pockets with stones and drowned herself.
All of these photos were taken using my latest film camera, a Pentax Spotmatic, and a very old expired film found in a drawer. I'm quite pleased with the lomo quality of the pictures!