Brighton & Hove
Preston Manor and Gardens go beyond allowing visitors to learn about the opulence of the Edwardian era; the eloquent testimony to the lavish bygone era is an opportunity to live and breathe the aesthetic grandeur and cultural splendour.
The impeccably preserved Edwardian manor house whispers tales of yesteryears and allows visitors to vicariously experience the lavish parties held within the authentically adorned halls.
The grand chandeliers, intricate installations of woodwork and ornate furnishings all stand as a testament to the era when craftsmanship was king. Beyond the architecture and labyrinth of secret gardens, Preston Manor narrates the tales of the previous inhabitants, who imprinted their legacy within the extravagant walls.
History of Preston Manor
Preston Manor’s architectural history spans from the 1200s, with the manor itself built in the late 1700s, replacing a medieval lodging tied to the local Parish. Thomas Western, the first lord of the manor, incorporated the previous dwelling as the basement. In 1905, Charles Peach redesigned the manor, adding a servants’ wing, dining room, and a North-facing veranda, shaping its current form. Protected as a grade II-listed building, it houses period pieces from the 17th to 19th centuries, blending Georgian architecture with an Edwardian interior.
Known as one of Britain’s most haunted places, Preston Manor’s ghostly tales date to the 19th century. The woman in grey, frequently sighted, roams the boiler room, main staircase, and roof. A séance unveiled an excommunicated nun’s spirit buried in the grounds. Workers uncovered a skeleton in the unhallowed ground near the south terrace. Visitors have reported floating amputated arms and phantom children playing in the manor and gardens.
Gardens and Grounds
The Preston Manor walled gardens and grounds comprise romantically sweeping lawns, perfect for strolls in all seasons, secret doorways, carefully manicured fruit trees and flowerbeds, and a lily pond, all of which contribute to the traditional charm of the landscape.
Visitors are welcome to find a spot to relax, and children are free to play; although, you might want to find a space away from the pet graveyard, which is the final resting place of some famous felines, including two Brighton Council mousers, and George, the Pavilion Cat.
On occasion, the croquet lawn is home to an outdoor cinema. The gardens have also hosted educational workshops, tours, and activities catering to children and adults, wedding receptions and other private functions, community events, such as concerts and open-air theatre performances, and ghost tours, especially close to Halloween. Other seasonal events held in the garden include summer and Easter fetes, designed to engage the local community, and celebrate the changing seasons.
Unfortunately, Preston Manor and Gardens are currently closed to members of the public, but the gates remain open for pre-booked school groups and special events.
The gates will be opened for the Telling Tales, Talking Trails seminar and web app tour, which is being funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and will take place on Thursday, the 19th of October. This is a free-ticketed event, with limited places available. General visitors will also be welcomed into the manor on the 21st of October, from 9:30-12 (am).
If you have always been enchanted by the tale of A Christmas Carol, you can meet the ghosts of the Christmas past in the manor on selected dates in December 2023. Tickets for the interactive experience are available from £26 per person.
Plan Your Visit
Preston Manor is two miles north of Brighton’s city centre; if travelling on foot, expect a 30-minute walk. Alternatively, you can catch a bus from North Street or outside the Royal Pavilion or hop on the train to Preston Park Station from Brighton train station.
Unless you are a blue badge-holder, you won’t find parking spaces outside the manor; so make sure to research parking spaces before you travel.
Or you can call the booking team or email to book private tours or private events.