Yesterday, a rather chilly and grey June day, I visited Preston Park manor house on a supported outing. I had never been to Preston Park before, and was glad that the place gave me very good vibes. Preston Park is a leafy, hilly outcrop of Brighton, and the Edwardian rows of terraces and houses nestled within the tree topped hills is aesthetically pleasing.
Preston Park manor house is a very short walk from the station, and is open to the public between April and September. As a disabled person I got in on the concessionary charge of just over £3, while my support worker got free entry.
The manor house is surprisingly big, and it has several stories, including a basement and attic. The house is set back from the busy road and overlooks a green park that you can view from the French windows.
My favourite room in the house was the reception/drawing room, where distinguished guests would engage in gossip before being summoned by a gong to dinner. I liked the airy, spacious layout, and the high ceiling with ornate carvings and chandeliers. That would be the life: reclining on the chaise longue with a good book and mug of coffee.
There were several bedrooms in the property. I would like to own a bed like the one below, because the curtains can be pulled to create a perfect sensory den.
The basement was my least favourite part of the house. This was where the servants slaved away ‘below stairs’, preparing food for their master’s elaborate parties. The air was stale and it felt claustrophobic and oppressive, which made me feel slightly out of sorts. I stayed long enough to take a few photos, but was relieved when I climbed back up the narrow, windy staircase and into the light of day.
I had a good time at Preston manor and came away with a bit more visual insight into how the well to do lived in Edwardian England. Part of me also wishes that I had enough money to buy a house like this (minus basement and servants) because it would provide the perfect setting for a civilised, quiet and bookish existence.