Rymans is situated about 3 miles to the south west of Chichester city centre, off Appledram Lane. It occupies a delightful secluded setting and the house is well positioned within its own stunning gardens and grounds. It is beautifully located close to some of the prettiest countryside and coastline in West Sussex and yet within easy reach of Chichester, Goodwood and a number of local schools including Oakwood and Westbourne House.
The local countryside including the South Downs National Park offers a varied choice of footpaths and bridleways providing access to some of the prettiest areas in the county including the nature reserve of Kingley Vale. Nearby Goodwood is internationally known for its famous racecourse but also provides a private country club with tennis courts, squash courts and 18-hole golf course. The annual Festival of Speed is held there and has become a prominent international event, as has the Revival of its historic motor circuit, celebrated with a 3-day event each year. The airfield close to the motor circuit also provides facilities for private aircraft.
The cathedral city of Chichester is about 3 miles away and provides a comprehensive range of shopping amenities arranged partly within its pedestrianised centre, dominated by the Norman cathedral and its ancient city walls. The arts are well represented with the internationally known Festival Theatre and recently extended Pallant House Gallery housing one of the best modern art collections in the country. The annual Arts Festival centred on the cathedral attracts artists and media personalities from all over the world.
The nearby West Sussex coast provides many other attractions on The Solent and there are a number of well known sailing clubs, most notably at Bosham and Itchenor, together with Chichester Marina at Birdham. The National Trust reserve of East Head and its adjacent beach at West Wittering are some of the most charming areas of coastline in the south of England, with facilities for yachting, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Communications in the area are excellent with the mainline station at Chichester providing a regular service to London Victoria, Gatwick and other towns and cities along the south coast. The A3 provides good access to London and via the M25 to Heathrow, with the M27 leading to Southampton Airport and the West.
Rymans is approached through attractive wrought iron gates leading up an impressive gravel drive to a turning circle in front of the house. A spur leads off to the right and serves The Old Stables.
The front door to the main house leads into the entrance hall with its stone floor and to one end of the hall is the magnificent dining hall with its fine open fireplace, beamed ceiling and stone floor from which the main staircase rises to the first floor. Leading from the dining hall is a well-proportioned drawing room with working fireplace and elegant marble surround and a wonderful tromp l'oeil door provides access to the pentice.
The main study also lies off the dining hall and displays stone mullioned windows with oak shutters, a fireplace and door to the garden. The sitting room is approached from the entrance hall and has a fireplace with wood burning stove and double doors leading out to the terrace and garden. The kitchen/ breakfast room, next door, has a large central island with twin sinks, a range cooker and twin dresser-style cabinets. The domestic offices lie beyond, including the utility room, butler's pantry with walk-in larder and the second study/office.
The principal staircase leads to the landing/music room, off which is located the spacious main suite with bedroom, dressing area, bathroom and lovely views over the formal garden. The first floor provides four further bedrooms, two bathrooms and two WCs and there is a fabulous large bedroom located on the second floor, accessed via its own stairs from the main landing.
Rymans is a magnificent Grade I Listed building which was described as 'a delightful small 15th Century manor house' by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner. According to Historic England, the original part of the house was built for prominent lawyer, William Ryman, in about 1410 and comprises a wonderful stone tower of three storeys with trefoil windows and a south wing of two storeys under a tiled roof. The east wing is believed to date from the 16th to 17th Centuries and the north wing from 1913-14 by Walter Godfrey who also extensively remodelled the earlier building. Godfrey was an English architect and historian who restored and adapted a number of important historic buildings and gardens. They included Chelsea Old Church, the Memorial Chapel at Eton College and Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex where his major reconstruction of the interior was executed 'exemplary' in the view of Pevsner. Later in the 20th Century the house belonged successively to the antiquary, Walter Peckham, and to Claud Phillimore, who made further alterations.
There are two excellent cottages at Rymans, as follows:
'Rymans Cottage' � approached via its own gravel driveway off the lane this comprises: hall, sitting room, kitchen, utility room, 3 bedrooms, bathroom and large private garden.
'The Old Stables' � approached off the main driveway, this was converted by the current owners and comprises: hall, sitting room, kitchen, 3 bedrooms, bathroom, shower room and garden.
An attractive brick and tiled garage with separate tool shed and loft over, lies on the left hand side of the driveway and there is a detached brick building containing 3 stores to the rear of the kitchen wing. In addition, there are two further integral stores (one housing the oil tank) and the boiler room at this end of the house.
GARDENS & GROUNDS
The gardens are absolutely spectacular and have been beautifully maintained and nurtured over many years. To the south of the house is a parterre with low box hedging, roses and lavender, a central armillary sphere by David Harber and the lovely pentice providing a peaceful sitting area. Stone steps lead down to a charming walled garden beyond within which lie two polygonal lily ponds linked by a canal. There is a further covered seating area to one side and an area of beautiful shrubs and conifers.
A gate leads from the parterre garden to the west of the house which features a magnificent mature holm oak tree. There is a stone paved terrace, ideal for al fresco dining, an area of lawn and the borders display an array of spring bulbs.
To the north is a part walled garden with covered sitting area to one end and raised summer house to the other, displaying beautiful trees and shrubs with well stocked surrounding beds. A wrought iron gate leads into another fabulous walled garden interspersed with a stunning array of specimen trees and shrubs, a lovely walkway lined with roses and tulips and a parterre with dovecote.
A further gate leads to the fine poplar avenue which is flanked by pasture on either side. There is also an area of woodland and kitchen garden with 3 greenhouses.