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Uppark House

Location

Sussex_west Map

OS Ref: SU 779 176

Last Visited: 2016

Uppark House and Stables

Uppark House and Stables

On 30 August 1989 Uppark caught fire. The first floor and roof were completely destroyed, but most of the contents of the ground floor rooms were rescued by the combined efforts of the National Trust staff and members of the public, together with the former owner's family.

Uppark

Uppark

This presented the National Trust with a choice: leave the building as a burnt out shell, and preserve the story of the building (even though the contents would have to go elsewhere); insert some sort of steel and glass museum into the shell to hold the contents, or restore the building to show the contents in their proper context.

The latter option was chosen for various reason, not least of which was that the insurance company would only pay out for a full restoration. Years of painstaking work then followed until in 1995 the ground floor was restored and the house could finally re-opened its doors. Unusually for a National Trust property, photography is not allowed in the house.

One can only speculate how the story of the house would have continued had it still been a family home. I'd guess that, funds permitting, the exterior would be fully restored, but that the opportunity would be taken to incorporate a few mod cons indoors.

For opening times, admission prices, etc. please see the National Trust's official site, detailed below.

Skylights

Skylights

The house was built was built for Ford Grey, the first Earl of Tankerville, in around 1690 on a site chosen for its views of the South Downs. In 1747 it was sold to Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh and his wife Sarah who collected much of the contents of the house on their grand tour.

In the nineteenth century stables and kitchens were added as separate buildings. These were linked to the house by tunnels lit by skylights cunningly incorporated into the flower beds.