Story of Bailiffscourt in Climping told by woman who once lived there

Sumptuous, timeless and inspiring is how Bailiffscourt in Climping is described and Sally Orson-Jones was lucky enough to grow up there.

Monday, 1st October 2018, 9:45 am
Sally Orson-Jones is a fiction editor who has worked on all Sarah Waters' books

The fiction editor has used her personal experience to help her write The Story of Bailiffscourt, her first book of her own.

The heartwarming story of Emmy Birer, Sally’s grandmother, who founded the first hotel at Bailiffscourt in 1947, forms the last chapter of the book.

Sally said: “It is, I hope, a very easy and accessible book to read. It’s 67 illustrated pages and would be of interest to anyone who has visited this lovely and unique place, as well as anyone with an interest in English country houses or architecture.

The Story of Bailiffscourt has 67 illustrated pages and is priced £16.99 hardback

“The book goes right back to Bailiffscourt’s first foundations, just after the Norman conquest, covers the period in the 1920s when the current extraordinary building was conceived and built by Lady Moyne and her inspired architect Amyas Phillips, and continues up until the time my grandmother founded the first hotel there.

“There is a detailed chapter about the beautiful Norman chapel in the grounds and an illustrated appendix, explaining the origins of many of the original pieces of medieval furniture still in the building.

“There is also a page listing some of the many celebrities that have stayed there over the years.”

As a fiction editor, Sally, from Brighton, has worked on all Sarah Waters’ books, including The Little Stranger, now in cinemas, and the two recent autobiographies by Viv Albertine.

She said: “I grew up in the hotel in the 1960s and 1970s, the granddaughter of Mrs Birer and the daughter of Mrs Smart, who ran it with her. I am based in Brighton these days.

The Story of Bailiffscourt by Sally Orson-Jones is priced £16.99 hardback. Visit for more information.