Founded in 1895 by Hardwicke Rawnsley, Octavia Hill and Sir Robert Hunter, the Clergy House at Alfriston, East Sussex was the first purchase by the National Trust for the princely sum of £10 in 1896.
Walking around to the rear entrance, the gardens immediately impress no more so than the unexpected quiet. The gardens are cottage, formal, vegetable and lawned plus a small orchard. Views over the Cuckmere river make the sun trap grounds a very pleasant space indeed.
Inside the thatched 14th century Wealden hall house the cold is significant throughout. A very informative talk by the visitor guide takes you through 700 years of history; it's amazing these building survive. Whilst exploring, look for the carpenter's carved oak leaf in the main room. It's thought to be the design notion for the National Trust logo.