Field Place
In 1792, Percy Bysshe Shelley was born at Field Place, a broad-fronted country house set on an estate/working farm in Sussex. As a child, Shelley freely roamed its several farms and heavily wooded grounds. Although Field Place was "improved" by successive owners over the years, the house has now been meticulously restored to its eighteenth-century condition by Kenneth Prichard Jones, a past president of the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association. The house is composed of several architectural elements (for a thorough analysis of the architecture, see K. Prichard Jones, "The Influence of Field Place and its Surroundings upon Percy Bysshe Shelley" in the Keats-Shelley Review). The original thirteenth-century medieval section (to the upper left of the house in this aerial view, courtesy of K. Prichard Jones) held the kitchen in Shelley’s time.

  A current resident 

There is also a fourteenth-century central addition (seen here between the two chimneys in the ground view and at the end of the front walk in the aerial view, again courtesy of K. Prichard Jones),


and a late sixteenth/early seventeenth-century century brick wing which holds the room in which Shelley was born.

Wing in which Shelley was born   

The views from the house are lovely and open, partly due to such eighteenth-century landscape innovations as the haha fence.

The haha fence The front drive South fields

Although we did not have access to the interior of the house, a watercolor of the drawing room done by Elizabeth Shelley in 1856 gives a good sense of its light and airy quality.

  Watercolor by Elizabeth Shelley, 1856

To the north of the house is a lovely walled garden,


and to the northwest is the stable area; here stands the tree under which young Master Shelley pretended to play cards with the groom.

Gate to stable area  smallMVC-002X.jpg (25043 bytes) smallMVC-003X.jpg (26739 bytes)
Further on is the pond where the farm horses would stop for a drink after a long day's work.

The pond The pond
and a lane leading to the farm buildings.

  Storage building (the roof was recently destroyed by an indignant bull shaking the walls)Blacksmith's building  Cattle building