There really is an abundance of historic monuments and buildings for you to visit whilst you enjoy your stay at Barton Manor. Here are a few ideas to wet your appetite.
The old Roman City of Chichester is just a 6-mile journey from Barton Manor; a short bus ride will take you right into the city centre itself. There in the centre of the city sits Chichester Cathedral, which is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Chichester and founded as a cathedral in 1075. Chichester Cathedral has stunning architecture in both the Norman and the gothic styles and its spire rises above its green copper roof, which can be seen for many miles across the flat meadows of West Sussex; Chichester is the only medieval English Cathedral which is visible from the sea.
In the neighbouring village of Fishbourne, just one mile outside Chichester is home to Fishbourne Roman Palace. The palace is the largest residential Roman building discovered in Britain and has an unusually early date of 75 AD, around thirty years after the Roman conquest of Britain. Much of the palace has been excavated and is preserved, along with an on-site museum.
Approximately 4 miles from Chichester in the quaint village of Singleton you will find the Weald and Downland Living Museum , which is an open air museum. The buildings at the museum were all threatened with destruction and, as it was not possible to find a way to preserve them at their original sites, they were carefully dismantled, conserved and rebuilt in their historical form at the museum. These buildings bring to life the homes, farmsteads and rural industries of the last 950 years. Along with the buildings, there are "hands-on" activities, like cooking and weaving and a number of yearly activities, including seasonal shows, historic gardens weekend and Tree Dressing.
Again, a stone’s throw away from Chichester is the stunning Stansted House and Park; an Edwardian country house in the parish of Stoughton. It’s mmagnificent state rooms and extensive servants' quarters are here to be seen, which is set in 1800 acres of ancient forest grazed by deer and landscaped parkland. The House is set as though the Earl was still at home and gives the visitor a look at what life was like 'Upstairs and Downstairs'.
If it’s the medieval theme you enjoy, you could take a visit Arundel Castle, a restored and remodeled medieval castle in the town of Arundel, a fifteen minute drive from the city of Chichester. From the 11th century, the castle has been the seat of the Earl of Arundel and, for over 400 years, the duke of Norfolk.
Staying with the castle theme, Amberley Castle stands in the village of Amberley, not far from the city of Chichester. It was erected as a 12th-century Manor House and fortified in 1377, giving it a rhomboid shaped stonework enclosure with high curtain walls, internal towers in each corner, a hall and a gateway. It was used as a fortress by the bishops of Chichester. It is recorded in Domesday Book, as is our very own Barton Manor. Enjoy an afternoon cream tea or treat yourself to some fine dining.
Petworth House, in the beautifully quaint village of Petworth is a vast 17th century mansion and is a National Trust Property. It sits in a 700-acre landscaped park, known as Petworth Park and has the largest herd of fallow deer in England. Within the Park, there is also a 30-acre woodland garden, known as the Pleasure Ground whereby you can stay with tradition and amble along the meandering paths admiring the trees and exotic shrubs. The servants’ quarters by contrast to the grandeur of the mansion offer a glimpse of England life ‘below stairs’.
A personal favourite of ours is Osborne House situated on the Isle of Wight. Just a short ferry ride across the Solent from Portsmouth, Osbourne house is the palatial former holiday home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. As you wander rolling acres of the magnificent Osborne estate, be sure to keep an eye out for red squirrels! Osbourne House offers an intimate glimpse of royal family life. You can also visit Victoria and Albert’s bathing beach, admire their children’s play-cottage and stroll through the garden terraces and take in the same stunning views across the Solent.
This leads us nicely into Portsmouth, or more importantly, The Historic Dockyard. This is an area of H.M. Naval Base, which is open to the public. It contains several historic buildings and ships to include: HMS Victory - Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar, HMS Warrior – the World’s first armour-plated, iron hulled warship when she was launched in 1860 and the remains of the Mary Rose, a warship of the Tudor Navy, which sank in 1545 to be salvaged in 1982. There is a host of other Naval artefacts to be seen in the National Museum of the Royal Navy including the original sails from the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
An incredible must-see, especially for our American friends, is the Record of Independence Declaration. A very precious and rare parchment version was uncovered in 2015. Aptly named ‘The Sussex Declaration’, the manuscript is only the second known parchment version of the declaration in existence alongside the Matlack Declaration in the National Archives. The parchment dating from the 1780s has been identified by Harvard scholars with work now underway to compare it with other documents. It is thought the West Sussex version originally belonged to the Third Duke of Richmond, nicknamed the ‘Radical Duke’ for his support of the American Revolution. Harvard researchers have said the manuscript is American and was most likely produced in New York or Philadelphia.