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"Our England is a garden of stately views
of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues
with statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by
But the Glory Of The Garden"

Rudyard Kipling

Lying within the busy Brighton district, picturesque Rottingdean lies off the busy tourist trail. This is a shame. A small picture-perfect town with a historic past, visitors will also be warmed by the friendliness of the locals. The main attractions in the town are Kipling's Garden, Rottingdean Windmill, St. Margaret's Church with its beautiful stained glass windows and some traditional old inns which were once frequented by smugglers in the area.

Rottingdean developed in the Saxon age around the duck pond opposite the church. A small farming community, the town's name translates as 'the valley of Rota's people'. After the Battle of Hastings, Rottingdean was given as a reward to William de Warrenne, the Lord of Lewes in acknowledgement of his support to William the Conqueror. Due to the poor quality of the roads, the farming community at Rottingdean remained in relative isolation for centuries. At the end of the 19th century, writers and artists in the search for peace and privacy began to settle here. It's an attraction which remains true in the 21st century. Life seems to move slowly here and your encounters with the locals are sure to be friendly and rewarding.

Smuggling in Rottingdean
The remoteness of the town combined with its proximity to the sea made Rottingdean a popular spot with smugglers. The illegal merchandise of items such as tea, lace, wine and spirits were hidden anywhere and everywhere. Stashed in barns, tunnels and even churches, the goods waited transportation to the London black market. These times were romanticised in Kipling's, A Smugglers' Song, “Five and twenty ponies/Trotting through the dark/Brandy for the Parson/Baccy for the Clark.” You can still visit some of the smugglers' favourite haunts. The Black Horse is an inn reputed to have been the smugglers' meeting place. Alternatively, there's the Whipping Post House, where the infamous Captain Dunk lived. A butcher by day and a smuggler by night he ironically lived in front of the whipping post, stocks and ducking stool.

Rottingdean Beach
A relatively secluded beach backed by high chalk cliffs, the beach has a life guard service over the summer months. A welcome break from the noise at Brighton!

  1. Attractions
  2. Accommodation
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Rottingdean : Sightseeing and Attractions

St. Margaret's Church
The local church was built from flint which is found in the local chalk. It provided an excellent building material for the Normans who built a church here on the site of an earlier Saxon church... more
Address: The Green, Rottingdean, East Sussex
Postcode: BN2 7HA Street Map

North End House
Formerly Prospect House and Aubrey Cottage, the two properties were joined by Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones and renamed North End House. Later, Sir Roderick Jones and his wife Enid Bagnold added Gothic House to the property.
Address: The Green, Rottingdean, East Sussex

Rottingdean Windmill
Erected in 1802, this black smock windmill is a landmark which acts as a beacon pointing visitors towards Rottingdean. The mill was operated last in the 1880s and now peacefully overlooks the Rottingdean Golf Course. The Rottingdean Windmill is open to the public monthly on every third Sunday.
Address: Beacon Hill, Rottingdean, Sussex

The Grange – Library and Museum
Currently housing the town library and museum, this building was given its elegant Georgian appearance by Reverend Thomas Hooker. The building was named by a former resident, Sir William Nicholson, a celebrated society portrait painter. The Grange was later enlarged by Sir Edward Lutyens on behalf of Sir George Lewis. On your trip, you can also visit the Grange Art Gallery which hosts changing exhibitions.
Address: The Grange, Rottingdean, Sussex
Postcode: BN2 7HA Street Map
Contact: PH 0127 3296 918

The Elms and the Kipling Gardens
The former home of Rudyard Kipling, this was the 18th century house where the author retreated to write his work. During his stay between 1897 and 1902 he wrote some of his most popular classics, such as 'Kim', 'Stalky and Co.', the 'Just So' stories and the poems 'Recessional' and the 'Absent Minded Beggar'. Fortunately, a plan for a housing development here was stopped by the Rottingdean Preservation Society. Most of the original walled garden was saved and developed. Open to the public, the garden is a real pleasure. Kipling Gardens has a large array of colourful flowers and offers peace in an elegant setting. Complete with a croquet lawn, this little retreat provides all the pleasures of an English country garden.
Postcode: BN2 7DD Street Map

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