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40 The Cliff

Gazetteer No. G0385

Date 1923

Address Brighton, Sussex BN2 5RE England


Lutyens met Victoria, Lady Sackville (1862-1936), mother of Vita Sackville-West, in Lady Cunard’s box at Covent Garden in June 1916 at a time when his wife was so absorbed in Theosophy that she was seldom at home. Their friendship ripened quickly and remained a very close one for the next twelve years, only deteriorating as a result of her increasingly eccentric, almost mad, behaviour. He called her MacSack and she called him MacNed. He did a great deal of work for her both in London and Bright, where he converted for her three houses into one in Sussex Square in 1918 (‘MacNed remodelled 40, 40a and 39 in half an hour in the most wonderful manner,’ she wrote in her diary. ‘His genius was fairy-like as if he had touched the houses with a wand’). In 1923 she sold the Brighton houses and moved to Roedean where Lutyens practically rebuilt a house for her, White Lodge-on-the-Cliff (now No.40 The Cliff). (Amery et al, 1981, Cat no.228)


Amery, C., Richardson, M. and Stamp, G., (1981) Lutyens, the Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944): Hayward Gallery London, 18 November 1981 – 31 January 1982. London: Arts Council of Great Britain.

Also Cited In

Brown, J. (1997) Lutyens and the Edwardians. London: Viking.

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Lady Sackville