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In this day and age it seems unbelievable that a city council could even think about buying a large country estate; the howls of protest from those who resent paying council tax would be deafening.

But, back in 1947 things were very different: not only were property prices much lower in real terms, civic pride still existed and the idea of public ownership was not the heresy it was to become in the Thatcher years.

Thus it was that, immediately after the Second World War, Stanmer House, the village of Stanmer and over 2,000 hectares (5,000 acres) of park, woods and farmland came to be owned by Brighton Corporation.

Since then, although the council has done a lot of restoration work and has opened the whole area up as a country park, the essential character of the place has changed little, and provides a fascinating reminder of how Sussex estate villages used to look back in the 60s and 70s.