From 1597 until the end of the seventeenth century, the land at Nymans was owned by the Gatland family who built a house on the site of the present house. Nymans passed through several hands until 1890 when Ludwig Messel bought the estate, enlarged the house with advice from Ernest George and, influenced by Sir Edmund Loder at Leonardslee and William Robinson at Gravetye, laid out the gardens. After Ludwig’s death in 1916, his son Colonel Leonard Messel inherited Nymans and he and his wife rebuilt the house using the architects Norman Evill and Walter Tapper and introduced a wide range of plants to the garden particularly from the Himalayas and South America. Much of the house was destroyed by fire in 1947 except for the north-east wing which remained habitable. Their daughter Anne, Countess of Rosse and her husband gave the estate to the National Trust in 1954 although they continued to develop the gardens until their respective deaths. The garden is filled with rhododendrons, magnolias, cherry trees, camellias, the Rose Garden, Wall garden, Wild Garden, woodland and lake.