Starcroft Farm Cabins is surrounded by history. Opposite the Normanhurst Estate in Catsfield, once home to a world-travelling Victorian family, it is perfectly positioned on the 1066 Country Walk, just a short distance from Battle and its Abbey. Newly opened this summer, Starcroft is offering writing retreats, guided walks and history talks in this timeless landscape.

But here you won’t necessarily hear tales of grand Lords or Normans on the battlefield, as Starcroft’s owner Hannah is more interested in the women of 1066 Country that history has forgotten. Each sustainably-built cabin has been named and designed in their honour. We spoke to Hannah to find out more about ‘Matilda’, ‘Catherine’ and ‘Lucy’.

Hi Hannah! Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind Starcroft Farm Cabins?

Having studied history at university, and then gone on to work as a travel writer, the concept for the cabins has been a coming together of two of my passions. I wanted to create a one-of-a-kind retreat that would spark the imagination. So, each cabin is named after a real woman from a key era in local history and offers a glimpse into the lives of women during that time.  

We wanted to offer an alternative take on local history. Traditional retellings of the Battle of Hastings often focus on the battle itself, and women are largely ignored - the Bayeux Tapestry, for instance, only features three women. In fact, even very prominent women often remain sidelined or absent in records throughout much of history.

Our medieval-themed cabin is named Matilda, after William the Conqueror’s powerful wife, and inspired by woodland folklore and physic gardens. Inside you’ll find a woollen cape and basket, as though a medieval woman has just come in from gathering herbs. Meanwhile Catherine looks at the pioneering plantswomen and explorers of the Victorian era such as Marianne North, an eminent botanist who lived in nearby Hastings.

We were inspired by the landscape and the history. Stargazing windows above the beds and birdwatching decks looking onto the meadow connect you to the natural world. The arched doors, carefully crafted by our joiner Tom, are a nod to the nearby Abbey.

The cabins have been infused with the creativity and skills of everyone who’s been involved, from our builder John at Wildly Crafted, who sourced the timber cladding from Powdermill Wood, just a 2-minute walk away, to Clair from Olive Stained Glass, who told the story of each cabin in three bespoke stained glass windows.


What can visitors expect when they stay at Starcroft Farm?

To fall asleep under the stars and wake up to the sun rising over the meadow.

It’s a great spot to rest and reconnect with nature… you could spend a whole morning just sitting on the deck watching the birds. We provide complimentary Bird & Wild coffee, too, which is organic, shade grown and donates to the RSPB.

Being right by the 1066 Country Walk, you can head off for a rejuvenating walk whenever the mood takes you. Lucy, our cabin inspired by the bohemian writers and artists of Sussex in the 1920s, is our dog-friendly cabin, so your pup can enjoy lovely long dog walks.

The cabins are creative hideaways, full of art and inspiration - each bedroom features a specially commissioned mural by a local artist. It’s the perfect place to disconnect from technology for a few days and spend some time lost in a good book, or maybe writing your own novel.

Each cabin has a fold-out desk with a meadow view. And we’ve teamed up with our wonderful local bookseller, Ian at Rother Books in Battle, to offer a Book Lover’s Bag - he can pick out a book according to your interests and it will be waiting for you on arrival, beautifully wrapped, along with some other Starcroft Farm Cabins treats. We also have a Starcroft Farm postbox, which you can post any letters or postcards into and we’ll make sure they get delivered. 

Using local, high quality and environmentally-conscious suppliers is really important to us, and we feel adds to the cabins’ rich sense of place.


Where can we find you?

Our stargazing cabins are in a peaceful meadow in the High Weald AONB, 40-minutes on foot along the 1066 Country Walk to the historic town of Battle.

Within Catsfield itself, a pretty Sussex village which dates back to the Domesday book, you’ll find a friendly local pub, an excellent farm shop and cafe, and a village shop.

We’re also just a short drive away from beaches at Bexhill, Hastings and Camber Sands, not to mention some of the world’s most celebrated homes and gardens, including Bateman’s and Great Dixter.

Go to for more information and booking, and please get in touch by email if there’s anything we can do to help make your stay extra special. 

Find us on Facebook and Instagram @starcroftfarmcabins.

Hannah’s book recommendation is Femina by Janina Ramirez 📚