THE RAM INN is on the left as you enter the street in Firle village.
‘K.M. [Katherine Mansfield] went after lunch, in the fly from the Ram, which took Lytton’s bag also. . . . L. bought me 10 packets of cigarettes: importation stopped.’ (Virginia Woolf, Diary, 22 August 1917).
LITTLE TALLAND HOUSE – continue walking up the street and you will see Little Talland House on the left, opposite the village hall. Little Talland House was rented by Virginia (Stephen) from January 1911 to January 1912.
‘I’m very much excited – furnishing my cottage, and staining the floors the colours of the Atlantic in a storm.’ (Virginia Woolf, Letters, no. 552, 24 January )
‘I’ve got to go down [to Firle] and make curtains and move beds at the cottage, having been so rash as to ask 5 people to stay the week after. Nessa is bringing a sewing machine; and in the intervals, I shall spur her to bouts of talk.’ (Letters, no. 553 [end January 1911])
‘I spent yesterday finishing off the cottage. Its right underneath the downs, and though itself an eyesore, still that dont matter when one’s inside. I have one gooseberry bush; 3 mongrels, thought by some to grow currants. Shall you ever come and stay there? There is a Bath, and a W. C.’ (Letters, no. 554 [29 January? 1911], to Violet Dickinson)
The villa is inconceivably ugly, done up in patches of post-impressionist colour. ‘ (Letters, no. 561 [April 1911])
See also Letters, nos 562–3, 6 & 8 April .
FIRLE POST OFFICE – continue further up the street; the Post Office is on the left beside the turning to Firle Park.
‘I. went into the shop at Firle the other day, and the man took me for you, and said you owed him 17/6 for butter which he sent you to Gordon Sqre 2 years ago. He was rather cross, and I said I would send you the bill, and that you would certainly pay at once. if correct. (Letters, no. 779 [20 August 1916], to Vanessa Bell)
‘We thought of having a picnic at Firle tomorrow, Monday. We shall be at the Post office there at 4 (or shortly before) and we shall bring some food and tea. It would be very nice if you could meet us at the P. Office, and we could go up into the wood.’ (Ibid., no. 857 [5 August 1917], to Vanessa Bell)
The graves of Vanessa and Quentin Bell and Duncan Grant are quite close to the wall on the North side of the churchyard.
Copyright© Sheila Wilkinson, Marielle O’Neill & VWSGB 2000/2021