Built in 1891-4 by the Arts and Crafts architect Philip Webb for James and Margaret Beale, Standen is a rambling, deliberately vernacular house that blends local materials: stone and brick, weather-boarding, tile-hanging and pebble-dash. The Beales, like many of their contemporaries, wanted a house in the country rather than a country house, somewhere with no pretensions, no ostentatious displays of wealth – just the sort of place that the gentle, earnest, socialist Webb was most adept at creating. The interior contains simple woodwork and plaster decoration with fireplaces individually designed for each room by Webb and furnishings by Morris & Co. The garden was laid out by Webb and planted by Margaret Beale with bold and experimental colour combinations, incorporating many unusual plants. James Beale died in 1912 and Margaret continued to live at Standen until her death in 1936. Their youngest daughter, Helen, bought the house from the family trust and bequeathed it to the National Trust shortly before her own death in 1972.