Holiday cottage, Bedham, West Sussex
Feels like a home
"The house is full of charm and feels like the residents have just gone out for a stroll because it's full of art, books and music. Kitchen is well-stocked for cooking and baking, and the barbeque set made a welcome change from the Aga. Beautiful location and lush garden allowed plenty of space to stretch out and relex without getting in each other's space. The second bathroom could benefit from some modernising but the seasonal spiders didn't seem to mind! Must have a car to overcome its relative remoteness. In short, a lovely location that feels like a home, not an anonymous modern box."
This is the actual studio in which Sir Edward Elgar composed his sublime Cello Concerto (Op.85) one of the most important and famous pieces of English classical music.
From 1917 to 1922 Sir Edward Elgar lived in Fittleworth, West Sussex a period of time that was a source of inspiration to him and his music. From this studio he composed four great pieces that were the last of his major works;
Opus 82 - The Violin Sonata
Opus 83 - The String Quartet
Opus 84 – The Piano Quintet
Opus 85 – The Cello Concerto
It was Elgar’s good friend the writer Ford Maddox Ford who lived next door, who persuaded him to move away from London at a time when his health was suffering. It turned out to be a timely move.
In 1929 the music studio was moved up the hill to its present location at Bedham, a small hamlet in an area of totally unspoilt Neolithic beech woodland that offers spectacular views to the north. In 1949 the studio was subsequently added to and with one further addition since, the studio now forms a stunning central feature to this home which carries so much history.
It has been owned more recently by Reginald Bosanquet the journalist best known for presenting the ITN news in the 1970’s and is currently owned by a photographer and film director. In fact the studio has always been under the ownership of musicians, photographers and media folk.
The 1996 film ‘Elgar’s Tenth Muse: The life of an English Composer’ starring James Fox was filmed on location here at The Elgar Studio, so we are pleased that we are able to offer the opportunity to stay in this very special place.
The setting is amongst one of the most beautiful areas of unspoilt woodland in Sussex. It is close to Flexham Park, of which Elgar frequently wrote. This is a home offering complete tranquility in deepest Sussex, which combined with the Elgar story makes a unique and special retreat.
The Elgar Studio is like “a very comfy old sofa”, you have to accept all its quirks since it is not a modern building and it is a step back in time. The chance to share in the history and experience a snapshot of his life attracts the visitor to such a unique setting. The studio will sleep up to eight in four bedrooms although it is best suited for a maximum of six adults and maybe two children. Three of the bedrooms have double beds, although the third double bedroom is a compact room with a purpose fitted mattress on the floor. The fourth bedroom has a single bed and a second bed that is only suitable for a child. We would advise that the Studio is not suitable for elderly guests and very young children under the age of six.
There is a full bathroom with separate shower cubicle attached to the main bedroom suite, with a second bathroom which does not have a shower facility. The wonderful central studio has a wood burning stove which was added by Reginald Bosanquet, and the kitchen is equipped with an Aga.
The wooded gardens slope away steeply from the property offering three decked areas, a separate summerhouse and barbeque area and the opportunity to explore wooded paths within the grounds. The woods are famous for wild mushrooms, and in the autumn offer a spectacular display of colour. Guests must accept this is a woodland garden.
With the importance of the woodland here it is understandable that Bedham is within the boundary of the South Downs National Park. From The Elgar Studio there is the opportunity to walk locally either enjoying the views to the north over Wisborough Green and to Flexham Park, or by climbing the hill behind to take in the views to the South Downs.
Three miles to the east is the town of Petworth. This historic market town is best known as the location of the stately home Petworth House and deer park, which was landscaped by Capability Brown. The house and its grounds are now owned and maintained by the National Trust.
The magnificent country house contains an internationally renowned art collection with numerous works by Turner. Petworth itself was immortalised in his paintings.
The town is full of quaint houses and cottages, many within their own courtyard settings. They are interspersed with antique shops and tearooms, so it makes the ideal place for a stroll following your enjoyment of Petworth House and Park.
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