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List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1249027



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Mid Sussex

District Type: District Authority

Parish: East Grinstead

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 28-Jan-1948

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 430872

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



I Country house of 1892-4 by Philip Webb. MATERIALS: Sussex and Ardingly sandstones (some quarried on site) and some Portland stone, Horsham and Keymer bricks, clay tiles, oak, rough-casting. PLAN: Rectangular east-west family block with equally large, angular, servants' wing off its north-east end.

EXTERIOR: Webb's Standen draws heavily on the Wealden vernacular tradition. It comprises a family block which articulates about a viewing tower (which houses the water tanks) behind which is the servants' wing.

The south, garden front of the family block is of two storeys and an attic. The ground floor with central porch is mainly of stone, while the first floor is largely tile hung. Ground and first floors are lit by sash windows, the former with segmental arches and typical of Webb. At the west end is a large single-storey glass-roofed conservatory with five brick arches to the front, the left hand one giving access to the garden door which is set into a deeply recessed, tiled, porch with a seat. The attic has five weather-boarded gables in a row, and as on other elevations tall brick chimneys rise above the roof line.

The north, entrance front abuts the viewing tower at its left, east end. It is mainly of brick with symmetrically arranged sash windows, but with a central bay with projecting porch in stone and to its right the canted stone mullion-and transom window of the entrance hall. Above the porch is a four-light first floor mullion-and-transom window with leaded lights. A row of flat-roofed dormers pierces the roof.

The four-storey central tower is faced in rough-cast and has a projecting balcony at its top with a pyramidally roofed look-out room above.

The angled servants' and service wing runs north and then turns east, where it wraps around the kitchen courtyard. It is of two storeys, and where it faces onto the main entrance courtyard to its west it has two large gables fronted in weatherboarding.

That entrance courtyard, on the north of the family block, enclosed by the house on two sides and to the west and north by stone retaining walls, is entered from the east via a double-height archway set at the north end of the servants' wing. This links Standen with the C15 Great Hollybush farmhouse (separately listed at Grade II) which was deliberately retained by Webb and integrated in his overall scheme for the house.

INTERIOR: The principal family rooms on the ground floor comprise the central drawing room communicating with the conservatory to its west and the dining room to its east. Behind the drawing room is the main porch, entrance hall and stair, communicating with the billiard room (with recess for spectators) to the west and Mr Beale's study (later business room) to the east. There are twelve first-floor bedrooms in the family block, and originally just one bathroom and two lavatories.

The detailing is careful and individual throughout. All the main rooms have fireplaces by Webb; each is different. Many rooms have specifically designed panelling, cupboards and wardrobes as well as Morris wallpaper.

In the servants' wing the kitchen retains its original Smith & Wellstood range.

HISTORY: In 1890 a successful London solicitor, James Beale bought three farms to the south of East Grinstead, previously part of the Saint Hill estate. Philip Webb was commissioned to build a new country house for Beale, which he did alongside Great Hollybush farmhouse (listed Grade II), a mid C15 farmhouse which had once been the service range of a medieval manor house. This, north of the servants' wing, was retained along with a timber-framed barn (also separately listed Grade II) which is the basis of the house's model farm, these together forming two sides of a grassy area now known as Goose Green. The new property was renamed Standen, borrowed from one of the other three farms. Webbs' initial designs for an ambitious south-facing house with rear servants' wing were gradually whittled down to a less ambitious scheme, settled on in autumn 1891, and on which work began in 1892. Webb took great care over the mostly locally sourced vernacular building materials - stone, brick, clay tiles, and oak - as he did in turn with the finish of the interior. He was a close friend of, and collaborator with, William Morris. Morris & Co was among the leading Arts and Crafts manufacturers of the day, and provided many of the fittings and fixtures inside the house. Standen was completed in 1894, although additions continued to be made to the interior fittings for some years.

Standen was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1972 by the Beales' daughter Helen.

SOURCES: The National Trust, Standen (guide book 1993; revised 2003); M. Girouard, 'Standen, Sussex', Country Life, 26 Feb 1970, p.494-97; 5 March 1970, 554-57. SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE: Standen is the last major work by Philip Webb, a leading late C19 architect and associate of William Morris (with whom he founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) who worked in the vernacular style. Built for a successful solicitor in the early 1890s, it employs local materials in its carefully detailed exterior while equal concern was shown towards the Arts and Crafts interior. It is the only one of Webb's relatively few commissions to survive standing and unaltered and with its contemporary grounds and landscape setting similarly unchanged. Internally it retains almost all of its original fixtures and fittings, many by Morris & Co.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Standen, (1993)
'Country Life' in 26 February, (1970), 494-97
'Country Life' in 5 March, (1970), 554-57

National Grid Reference: TQ 38968 35598


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End of official listing