LOCAL HISTORY GROUP – visit to Overstrand

overstrand

 

A pleasant surprise awaited us when we visited “The Pleasaunce” in Overstrand the former seaside retreat of Lord & Lady Battersea.  The house is on the Overstrand Great War Trail which puts names to faces bringing to life the impact the 1914/18 war had on this small community. In 1914 Lady Battersea set up a hospital for wounded soldiers in the grounds of her home with many ladies of the village assisting her alongside the nurses.

We were met and guided through this calm and comfortable home by Maggie Pickering who is a trustee for the owners Christian Endeavour Holidays, her enthusiasm for the history of the place took us to all corners of this quirky house from kitchen to attic then into the gardens.

Edwin Lutyens was commissioned to build the house around two small villas in 1888. The building is imaginative in an Arts & Crafts style with his distinctive touch emphasised in the design of the interior and outdoor spaces.  He also added a clock tower and covered cloisters which enclose the garden terrace.

Lutyens himself quoted “Any stone being mentally handled must be endowed with poetry and artistry and a garden should have backbone, a central idea beautifully phrased”.  After this uplifting visit we now know just how he was able to bring his Arts & Crafts interior and exterior designs to Overstrand and why they have stood the test of time.   The Methodist Church and Overstrand Hall also designed by Lutyens are on the trail alongside other properties linked to families who lost loved ones.