© Tony Tree
Charleston was the home of Vanessa Bell (1879-1961) and Duncan Grant (1885-1978) from 1916, and it became a country meeting point for the so-called 'Bloomsbury Group', including Bell's sister Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) and her husband Leonard Woolf (1880-1969), the economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), the art critics Roger Fry (1866-1934) and Clive Bell (1881-1964) and the biographer Lytton Strachey (1880-1932). Inspired by Italian fresco painting and Post-Impressionism, Bell and Grant set about decorating the interiors of the farmhouse, and redesigning the garden to feature mosaics and box hedges.
The house opened to the public in 1986 after a major restoration, and today visitors can enjoy the historic interiors decorated by Bell and Grant, as well as the artists' studio looking onto the garden. The collection also includes painted furniture, ceramics, paintings and textiles, and works by artists admired by the Bloomsbury group, including Renoir and Picasso.
Wednesday - Saturday 1pm – 6pm
(12 – 6pm July, August and September)
Last entry 5pm
Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays
1pm – 5.30pm
Last entry 4.30pm
Shop, ticket office and café open 1 hour before the house