Catalogue description THE STANDEN ARCHIVES

This record is held by West Sussex Record Office

Details of Standen
Reference: Standen

A good collection of bills survives for the period of interior decorating, after 1894, among which are bills from Morris and Co., for carpets, curtain and furnishing fabrics, chairs and settees; as well as several more lengthy estimates; detailing the carpets, blinds and floor coverings in 1894, and the re-decorating work in 1906.


The bills have been catalogued individually and arranged chronologically in order to reflect the original development of the interior.

Date: 1760-1993



Plans Standen MSS. 1 - 12.


Alterations Standen MSS. 13 - 37.


Interior Standen MSS. 38 - 49.


Water Supply Standen MSS. 50 - 61.


Heating Standen MSS. 62 - 115




Standen MSS. 116 - 134




Standen MSS. 135 - 153




Standen MSS. 154 - 254




Standen MSS. 255 - 390




Albums Standen MSS. 391 - 392


Interior Standen MSS. 393-431


Exterior Standen MSS. 432 - 458


Family Standen MSS. 459 - 464




Standen MSS. 465 - 466




Saint Hill Estate Standen MSS. 467 - 518


Standen Estate Standen MSS. 519 - 589


Accounts Standen MSS. 590 - 600




Standen MSS. 601 - 613




Standen MSS. 614 - 631




Standen MSS. 632 - 64

Held by: West Sussex Record Office, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Beale, James Samuel, d 1912, of East Grinstead

Beale, Margaret, d 1936, of East Grinstead

Physical description: 11 series
  • Webb, Philip, 1831-1915, architect
  • Beale, Helen Mary, d 1972, of East Grinstead
  • East Grinstead, West Sussex
Administrative / biographical background:

Standen was built on the site of Great Hollybush Farm, East Grinstead, between 1892 and 1894, for James Samuel Beale, a successful London solicitor, and his wife Margaret. The house was to be a holiday, weekend and retirement home, and was designed as such by Philip Webb (1831-1915), successfully fulfilling his aim of designing houses which were practical and comfortable places in which to live. It was supplied from the first with a hot water and central heating system.


The Beales took an active interest in the building of their house and Webb corresponded with them frequently over various details. They appear to have become quite good friends during this period (see Standen MSS 168-178).


Alterations were made by Webb in 1898 to the hall and billiard rooms (see Standen MSS 176-178 and 14) and by his assistant, George Jack, in 1902 (see Standen MSS. 179-182). Webb was also responsible for the building of the two new Standen Cottages in 1896 (see Standen MS.15), as well as for the superimposing of the upper terrace and summer house over G.B. Simpson's original layout in the garden. The garden was really the domain of Margaret Beale, who was a keen gardener and kept her own garden notebook. (See Standen MS. 116).


Due to Webb's friendship with William Morris, and the part he played in the firm of 'Art Decorators', Morris and Co., many of the fabrics, upholstery, carpeting and furniture are the products of Morris and Co. The furniture in Standen is said to be a good example of the Company in its later phase, when it was producing pieces of a much lighter and more Georgian style than previously.


Margaret Beale continued to live at Standen after her husband's death in 1912, and on her death in 1936, she was succeeded by her daughter, Margaret Sarah Beale. In 1947 Helen Mary Beale, the youngest daughter of James and Margaret, came into possession of Standen. A good deal of the surviving papers and correspondence is Helen Mary Beale's. It was on her death in 1972 that Standen was passed to the National Trust.

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