Marc Chagall at Tudeley Church


The dignity of the Artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world

(Marc Chagall)

It was a beautiful September day in 1963 when Sarah D’Avigdor Goldsmith, a young socialite from Tudeley, Kent and her boyfriend David Winn joined Paddy Pakenham, Lord Longford’s son for a day’s sailing at Rye. There was little wind and they were about to turn home when a sudden gust swung the boom across hurling them all into the sea and capsizing the boat. Several miles out into the sea they desperately tried to paddle the boat back towards the shore but the nightfall and cold took its toll and first David then Sarah slipped into the sea. Paddy managed to get a shore but by the time he found help it was too late.

tudeley_churchSarah was well known, having grown up in a huge Jacobean mansion near Tudeley a source of employment for many local people all of whom worshipped at All Saints’ in Tudeley with her family.Her death was a shock not only in the local area but also in the social circles of her father, a Tory MP with many London connections, and her mother whose lavish entertaining included writers, artist, actors, politicians and aristocrats.


Sarah, despite her young age, was a patron of the arts and had the foresight of being the first ever person to buy a David Hockney painting at the artist’s degree show. Two years before her death she travelled to Paris to see the stained-glass windows created by Chagall for a synagogue in Jerusalem.

She described the windows as ‘jewels of translucent fire’ and was so taken by them that she spoke of little else for weeks after returning from Paris.


In her pursuit to find a memorial Sarah herself would have enjoyed, Sarah’s mother invited Russian born artist Marc Chagall to create a window in her memory at their local church. It took a lot of persuasion and extensive use of her social connections to get the reluctant 76-year-old artist to agree. However, when Chagall eventually came to Tudeley, he took one look at the plain glass windows in the church and announced he would create a replacement for all of them.

It took Chagall over a decade, but all the 11 windows were installed by 1985, the year of his death at the age of 98.

Tudeley is the only church in the world which has all its windows created by Chagall which draws visitors from all over the world.


Sarah would have loved them!

An ideal place to stay and explore Tudeley church and the neighbouring Kent and Sussex countryside and market towns Knelle Dower Studio B&B

For opening times and further information on Tudeley Church visit :

For more information on Marc Chagall visit :

Rye Jazz Festival 2017

“Life is a lot like jazz. . . it’s best when you improvise.”

George Gershwin      jazz-player


Every year in August the small medieval town of Rye becomes the stage for a boutique music festival with a difference, the Rye Jazz Festival.

For five days, from August 24th to 28th,  Rye is swinging, Jazz is everywhere from street corners, pubs, restaurants to organised concerts.

The music is eclectic and the atmosphere is dynamic -…



Jazz music emerged in America around the turn of the nineteenth/twentieth century.

Jazz is characterised by improvisations, offbeat accents and swung rhythms based on the mood of the moment rather than the written score.


African slaves introduced black music to America, combined with the music of the white European settlers it created new styles of music like blues and ragtime.

Black musicians began to jazz up the marching bands,  by improvising on the melodies.

Trad (traditional) jazz emerged in the early twentieth century in Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans. Jazz soon spread away from its origins in the deep South, and developed  distinctive local styles throughout American cities. Louis Armstrong growled and bent notes in typical Chicago style and Big Band greats like Duke Ellington added another dimemsion.

Be-bop followed in the 1950’s with wild improvisation on solo intrusments, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davies are just a few jazz greats of this period.



The Rye Jazz Festival features many musicians following the footsteps of these jazz legends to entertain visitors in an  intimate series of free and ticketed gigs alround the town. The program provides a great variety of styles and entertainment.

For more information visit

An ideal place to stay during the festival and at other times when visiting Rye

Knelle Dower Studio B&B

For those of you local to us there is  Jazz all year round at the Robertsbridge Jazz Club. Every second Thursday of the month with regular and visiting players. A great evening out !

Visit   for more information

The bear necessities of life….

Rudyard Kipling 1st editions

“So Mowgli went away and hunted with the four cubs in the jungle from that day on. But he was not always alone, because years afterward he became a man and married.

But that is a story for grown-ups.”




Rudyard Kipling published The Jungle Book in 1849 and to this day it remains a hit with the young and the older. A collection of stories about Mowgli, a human boy raised in jungle by wild animals; some became friends like Baloo the bear or Bagheera the panther, others foes like Shere Khan the tiger and Kaa the python. All of them became legends not only in children’s literature but also as film characters.

Jungle book Disney


The first Jungle Book movie was produced way back in 1942, an American Technicolor Film, based on a screenplay adaptation by Laurence Stallings. But it was the 1967 Walt Disney Pictures production that captured our hearts. A beautifully animated musical comedy whose songs turned into popular sing-alongs and even Oscar nominations for Baloo’s ‘The Bear Necessities’.



Jungle book Film
courtsey of Disney

If the new hyper-real digital animation, which has recently hit the cinema screens across the country, can compete with the charm and visual pleasure of the hand drawn cartoon characters brought to live by Disney Productions is a down to personal perception and probably a generational matter.


A visit to Batemans, Rudyard Kipling’s home in Burwash, East Sussex however is a must for all Jungle Book fans. As you explore the house at Bateman’s you will not only get to know the man behind your favourite children’s stories but also the life of his wife Carrie and their three children.

courtesy of N.T. image library

batemans study

Full of unusual objects, his daughter’s original alphabet necklace that inspired a Just So story, Kipling’s vintage Rolls Royce, original paintings from the Jungle Book by his father John Lockwood Kipling and Rudyard’s voice playing on an IPad in his magnificent book lined study plus much more, Batemans will transfer you right back to Kipling family’s life.

By far my favourite stately home in East Sussex – perfectly sized, beautiful and in a stunning location – I wish I could live there.

For further information, opening times and special events please visit

Places to stay (also for grown-ups)