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The thumbnails below are linked to larger pictures

Forrest Bridge


The colenels favourite seat

Azalea's The Clocktower

The High Beeches gardens are situated near Handcross village on the southern face of the Sussex High Weald known as the Forest Ridges. The gardens are declared 'Outstanding' by English heritage, as an exceptionally well preserved example of a landscaped woodland garden, dating from the early twentieth century.

The gardens are at their most colourful in springtime, with the narcissus, enchanting Spanish daffodils and camellias, followed by early rhododendrons, carpets of bluebells, magnolias and finally Azalea time in late May. Spring is the best time to visit but with wildflowers and contrasting foliage plus Autumn colour there is always something worth viewing.

In the early part of the nineteenth century, the building of the Brighton Pavilion and the subsequent increase in traffic, prompted the construction of the London to Brighton post road. The post horses were stabled at the Red Lion Inn at Handcross and many people began to settle on the Forest Ridges, attracted by the beautiful unspoiled landscape.

A substantial mansion with spectacular views across the downs, together with extensive formal gardens and stabling was built at this period. In 1848 the High Beeches mansion and estate were bought by Sir Robert Loder, who enlarged the house and stables and built the Clock tower and Coach House.

The estate descended to Sir Roberts grandson, Colonel Loder in 1906, he died in 1966 when the site was divided up and sold. The house was burnt down in 1942, after being hit by a Canadian bomber aeroplane carrying propaganda leaflets to drop over Germany. The Boscawens bought the Woodland Gardens with the site of the old Mansion house.
High Beeches can be accessed via the A23 Brighton road and the B2110 turn off near Handcross.
*Link to official site for viewing Visitor Information*
April 2008
A return visit to High Beeches in 2008 showed considerably less colour due to a very wet and cold spring which delayed the flowering shrubs. Perhaps nature will catch up next month.

High Beeches stream spring 2008 High Beeches pond spring 2008 High Beeches azalia Spring 2008