Step Into A 1930s Christmas At Standen

Step Into A 1930s Christmas At Standen

Step into a 1930s Christmas party already in full-swing with music and dancing, and be immersed into the sights and sounds of family festivities at Standen. Discover each room in the house dressed for a 1930s Christmas and feel like one of the Beale’s guests this festive season, whether dancing, writing Christmas lists or stepping into a food fight.

At Standen, the National Trust’s Arts and Crafts house and garden in West Sussex, visitors are being invited to enjoy a traditional family Christmas, discovering how the Beales would have celebrated the festivities themselves during the 1930s from Saturday 23rd November 2019 until Sunday 5th January 2020, from 11am-3pm.

House Manager Ruth Howard explains what visitors can look forward to this year, “Standen epitomises everything you imagine about a traditional family Christmas: a cosy feel, warm rooms, the family gathering all together, presents, dancing, Christmas trees and family fun. We are recreating these ideals through our ‘Beale Family Christmas’ this year as Standen is a family house and everything that you could wish for as the setting for a festive gathering. It’s very exciting to be creating something new for visitors to enjoy.”

The house, designed by Philip Webb and filled with Morris & Co. interiors, will see each room come alive with celebrations from the era, from dancing to food fights across the entire Dining Room and the servant’s stories too. Memorable moments will be drawn from the Standen archives, to give a feel of traditional festive celebrations. Ruth explains, “The Beales had a lot of fun at Christmas, when the extended family got together and played music and danced. It really was a jolly social time for them and I am really looking forward to getting that feeling across to our visitors and telling the stories of their Christmas parties. Luckily, we have quite a lot of archival information, mostly from letters from Helen Beale, and present lists from Margaret Beale, the mother of the Beale family. Together with our volunteers we will take inspiration from these stories to create a special atmosphere for our visitors.”

There is even more opportunity this year to enjoy a magical view of the decorated house, along with the 20-foot outdoor Winter Tree, with twilight openings on specific dates in December when the property is open until 6:30pm.

The shop at Standen will be open as well and full of Christmas inspiration, so you can tick everyone off your Christmas gift list. From sweet treats to Arts & Crafts inspired gifts there will be something for even the hardest to buy for.

Visitors can also warm up in Barn Café with a hot drink and choose from a selection of festive treats. And for the younger visitors they can enjoy Storytime with Woodland Santa, booking essential on 0344 2491895.

For further information and opening times visit