West Dean College and Gardens

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West Dean College is internationally recognised for conservation and creative arts. It has one of the greatest restored gardens open to the public. A unique place to study, visit or stay, it is a centre of excellence, creativity and tranquillity. Underpinning it all is the vision of founder and Surrealist patron Edward James, connecting today's students and visitors with a rich hertiage of arts, craft and creative possibility.

Venue Type:

Historic house or home, Garden, parklands or rural site, Artist studio or collective, Archive, Festivals

Opening hours

West Dean College - all year round
West Dean Gardens:
22 December to 31 January - closed
1 - 29 February - 10.30am to 4.00pm
1 March to 31 October - 10.30am to 5.00pm
1 November to 21 December - 10.30am to 4.00pm

Admission charges

Various. Please refer to details of individual events and courses

Collection details

Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Design, Fine Art

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
West Dean Short Courses Brochure

Make Create Discover - Short Courses at West Dean College 2016-17

  • 21 October 2016 — 31 March 2017 *on now

West Dean College offers an inspirational choice of Short Courses with expert tutors in Art, Craft, Gardening, Music, Textiles, Photography, Wood, Metalwork and Ceramics. West Dean College, a specialist centre for education and training in conservation and in the creative arts, was once owned by Edward James, patron of Surrealists Dali and Magritte. You can book accommodation in the characterful period West Dean House, set in 6,400 acres of countryside in the heart of the South Downs National Park. The College offers you a retreat location with stunning views and the tranquil West Dean Gardens which you can explore during your stay. There is a 300 foot long Edwardian pergola, the Victorian Glasshouses, and St Roche's Arboretum and its 50 acres with hidden glades and impressive views.

For full details of course, tutors and prices visit www.westdean.org.uk/study

First-time bookers received 10% discount (by telephone only).

Suitable for

  • 18+


Prices vary according to the course. Taster Courses start from £115, weekend courses from £235. See website for full details.



Edith, Elizabeth and I, One-woman Show at West Dean

Edith, Elizabeth and I - One-woman Show

  • 2 November 2016 7:30-10pm

Edith, Elizabeth and I is a comic, fast moving on-woman show with a cast of three, all vying for the role of leading lady. Inspired by the life of poet Edith Sitwell and her biographies of Elizabeth I, it’s the story of Juliet who attempts to put on a play about her heroines, but discovers that telling the tales of others has its pitfalls, particularly when the subjects themselves turn up and force to face some home truths. Includes a rare opportunity to view the Sitwell portrait and letters from the Edward James Archive.
Viewing of material from the Edward James Archive
Refreshments available
'Edith, Elizabeth and I' performance in the Old Library
Questions and Answers with Jules Craig
Viewing of material from the Edward James Archive
Refreshments available in the Oak Hall

Suitable for

  • 18+


Tickets £15



West Dean College and Gardens
West Dean
West Sussex
PO18 0QZ






Bookings office

01243 811300


01243 811343

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.