The Grange Museum
The Grange Museum has a wide range of exhibitions and displays of interest to all ages. Old Rottingdean is captured in a collection of photographs showing how the village has changed over time, including Magnus Volks’ amazing “Daddy-Long-Legs” seashore railway – a short-lived invention that ran three miles from a point opposite Paston Place in Brighton to a specially constructed pier at Rottingdean. Built on 24ft high stilts, to counteract the high tide through which it had to run, it accommodated 150 people, was virtually wrecked by a storm after running for one week in November 1896 and was repaired to return to service the following summer. Sadly, by 1901 it was deemed a white elephant and finally scrapped along with its pier in 1910.
The Museum also has exhibits featuring some of the lives of some of the famous residents in the village. Amongst others are the writer Enid Bagnold, (whose book “National Velvet” was made into a film that clearly identified with her life in Rottingdean and starred a young Elisabeth Taylor), and Fox Talbot, the father of photography. Also, more recently, the internationally known folk singer Bob Copper whose old family folk songs formed the basis for the foundation of the English Folk Song Society and whose family’s farming history in the area dates back to the 16th Century.
There is a whole room devoted to the life and work of Edward Burne-Jones, one of the most celebrated Pre-Raphaelite artists and a village resident, whose stained glass windows, created in collaboration with William Morris, can be seen in nearby St Margaret’s Church, shown here on the right.
The Kipling Room is a wonderful reconstruction of Rudyard Kipling’s study in his house the Elms. This house is now privately owned, so the Kipling Society very kindly created this display that brings the most famous resident of the village to life. Here you can see Kipling and his family from the time he spent in Rottingdean (1897 – 1902), captured in images from his own Family Photo Album, a time. when he wrote some of his best work including the Just So Stories.