16 August 2016

Virginia Woolf and Monk's House, Rodmell, East Sussex

In 1919 Virginia and Leonard Woolf bought an 'old fashioned' (for which by today's standards read unbearably basic with no bath, flush toilet, hot water, etc) for £700. It became their retreat from London, which they would make many improvements to, and where they would spend their remaining years.

All the above shots are of the sitting room. The table immediately above is 'Venus at her toilet', by the artist Duncan Grant.

This table top too is by Duncan Grant, along with Vanessa Bell, Virginia's sister.

The fire screen is also by Duncan Grant, with his mother Mrs Bartle Grant doing the canvas work as she was experienced in needlecraft.

An oblique view of the dining room, with chairs by Vanessa and Duncan, and the painting on the right being of Virginia, which Vanessa painted in about 1912.

Out of view here, over the mantel-piece is a primitive painting of the Glazebrook family, millers who used to own the house in the nineteenth century.

The entrance door between the sitting room and the dining room.

The kitchen was subject to flooding.

The extension, Virginia's room of her own, her bedroom.

The fireplace, with tiles by Vanessa Bell, one (on the floor) reading 'VW from VB 1930'.

In the garden, C. H. N. Mommen's Goliath.


Born January 25 1882
Died March 28 1941.

Death is the enemy. Against you
I will fling myself, unvanquished
and unyielding – O Death!
The waves broke on the shore.'

The quotation was chosen by Leonard from Virginia's novel The Waves.

Born November 25 1880
Died August 14 1969

"I believe profoundly in two rules:
Justice and mercy – They seem to
me the foundation of all civilized
life and society, if you include
under mercy, toleration".'

who lived in this house from 1919 until their deaths,
were scattered under the great elm tree.
In 1972 the plaque in Virginia's memory, which
Leonard had placed there, was moved
from the elm to this more permanent position. At the
same time the bust of Leonard Woolf and the
plaque in his memory were placed here.

The head of Virginia was modelled by
Stephen Tomlin and placed on this wall by
Leonard. That of Leonard was modelled
by Charlotte Hewer and placed here
together with these plaques by Trekkie Parsons.'

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