Stately homes and other historic buildings in West Sussex
As well as those described below, you might also be interested in Arundel's Castle and its cathedral, the more magnificent Chichester Cathedral and, at the other end of the West Sussex coastline, the Royal Pavilion at Brighton.
Amberley CastleNow in use as a top-end hotel, Amberley Castle is nonetheless a spectacular sight and a glimpse of Amberley Castle is one of the highlights of a visit to the pretty village of Amberley.
Originally a 12th century manor house which has it's characterful fortifications added in the 14th century, the castle was one of the retreats of successive bishops of Chichester.
Much of the castle is in a semi ruined state, which makes it even especially evocative. A walk around it across Amberley Swamp is a delight in summer - but don't try it in the winter.
Cowdray RuinsThere are few buildings as romantic as ruins and Cowdray Ruins are no exception.
The Ruins are what's left of an important early Tudor courtier's palace which was partly destroyed by fire in 1793. You can explore what's left throughout the summer. Cowdray ruins are in the northern part of Midhurst by the River Rother.
There's a Visitor Centre and audio and group guides are also available.
Fishbourne PalacePerhaps the greatest existing Roman find in Britain. Fishbourne Roman Palace is a superbly restored and intelligently set out seat of Roman power a mile or so west of the important Roman city of Chichester close to the busy Roman harbour and port of Fishbourne.
Fishbourne is well-known for its fabulous mosaics, which can be seen from a flyover style walkway.
Goodwood HouseCompact seat of successive Dukes of Richmond and Gordon, Goodwood House is most noteworthy for its outstanding collection of artwork.
The collection includes famous pieces by Canaletto, Van Dyck, Stubbs, Reynolds and other greats, together with priceless furniture and exquisite porcelain.
Hammerwood ParkStately home open to the public at selected times during the summer.
An interesting story of dereliction, restoration and rock and roll.
Lancing College ChapelImpressive Victorian Gothic Masterpiece dominating the west bank of the River Adur north of Shoreham-by-Sea.
Knepp CastlePrivately owned ruined castle overlooking Knepp Lake near the A24 close to Shipley.
The estate website gives an interesting overview of the history of the castle and current conservation projects.
Parham HouseUndoubtedly one of the finest small stately homes in England. Parham is located near the interesting village of Storrington.
Parham is not open all the year round, so check for details before setting out.
Petworth HouseAmazing artwork, a slightly forbidding stately home (architecturally at any rate) and a wonderful deer park make Petworth House a popular visitor attraction for thousands each summer.
Pulborough Castle infoAn earthwork motte and bailey fortification enclosed by a ditch. Not a lot to see as it's almost completely overgrown with trees and ferns but a pleasant walk nonetheless.
Shoreham FortGary Baines' Shoreham Fort website tells you practically everything you might want to know about Shoreham Fort, which was built in 1857
Stansted ParkLovely stately home on the Hampshire border north of Emsworth with an arboretum, elegant grounds, its own Light Railway a regular program of events especially in the summertime and a style of presentation that shows what life was like below stairs as well as in the poshest rooms.
UpparkA lovely 17th century stately home high on the South Downs above South Harting village and the subject of a meticulous restoration.
Worth AbbeyLovely calm site telling you about the life of the 25 monks who live in the Abbey and the works they carry out.
Not generally open to the public
Wiston HouseWiston isn't open to the public, other than for weddings, but it's still a major feature of the countryside north of the Downs near Steyning.
Its a Grade 1 Listed building which currently houses the confusingly similarly named Wilton Park conference centre - which is owned by the Foreign Office. You can read more about the history of Wiston House and village here.
Interested in historic houses?
Historic Houses AssociationThe HHA is the club for you if you happen to own a stately home. It represents the owners of these national treasures lobbying, providing technical advice and helping members overcome the many difficulties of preserving historic houses.
If you don't happen to own a stately home, the HHA's website is still interesting as it tells you about the workshops it runs across the country and contains a lot of information about some of the grand old properties its members own.
- Roman Sussex
- Saxon Sussex
- The sea and its effect on coastal communities over the centuries
- Key dates in the history of West Sussex
- Arundel Castle
- Arundel Cathedral
- Brighton Pavilion
- Chichester Cathedral
- Torberry Hill
- Cissbury Ring
- The Devil's Humps
- Chichester Canal
- St Mary's Bramber
- Knepp Castle
- Sussex Churches
- Wey and Arun Canal
- More places in Sussex with historical connections
- The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum at Singleton
- Amberley Museum
- Top Sussex Museums
- Bognor Regis
- Burgess Hill
- East Grinstead
- Haywards Heath