Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum

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Lewes, East Sussex BN8 5AF
Phone: 01825 840573 / 841451
Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum

Bentley is a Sussex estate with a variety of things for the family to enjoy.  There is a motor Museum, a Wildfowl reserve, a woodland with prehistoric reconstrucion buildings, living willow tunnels to explore, crafts studios and a minature steam railway.

The House

The house dates back to early 18th century times and was built on land granted to James Gage by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with the permission of Henry VIII. The family of Lord Gage was linked with Bentley from that time until 1904.

The estate was purchased by Gerald Askew in 1937 and during the 1960s he and his wife Mary, added two Palladian rooms to the original farmhouse. The drawing room contains mid 18th century Chinese wallpaper and gilt furniture. The Bird Room contains a collection of Wildfowl paintings by Philip Rickman.

The Waterfowl Collection

The Waterfowl collection was started by the late Gerald Askew in the 1960's and has become the largest private collection in the United Kingdom. There are over 1000 swans, geese and ducks from all over the world which roam freely in the beautiful 23 acre parkland setting.

Conservation and breeding of endangered species are why the birds are kept in captivity, Bentley has 11 of the 17 species that are currently under threat of distinction.

The Gardens

The gardens at Bentley have been created as a series of 'rooms' which are divided by yew hedges each room leads into the next.

There gardens comprise of a white garden, a blue garden and a garden devoted partly to old varieties of roses - The Bourbons, the Gallicas and the Damasks.

The Motor Museum

The vehicles in the collection at Bentley are lent by many individual owners who wish them to be more widely seen and enjoyed.

This means the collection is liable to change and there are often new, exciting or unusual cars to be seen. Most of the vehicles are in running order and used on the roads.

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