We thought we would share my wife’s pictures of the first true summer day of the year in England when we decided to drive from Sussex into Kent to visit Scotney Castle
, now owned by The National Trust
The castle is near Lamberhurst in the middle of the Weald of Kent. The Weald
is a strip of land that stretches for forty miles or so between the chalk hills of the South and North Downs in Sussex and Kent in South East England.
The South Downs looking north across The Weald
It was originally a vast ancient forest (the name is Old English for woodland) and there still are patches of the old forest to be found in Sussex and Kent.
The Weald of Kent
Scotney Castle was built during the 1830s by Edward Hussey. He was the grandson of another Edward who bought the estate from the Darrell family in 1778. The Darrells had owned it for 350 years.
The new house was constructed of sandstone taken from a small quarry on the slopes below. This was later converted into a sheltered garden.
The Quarry Garden
But at the bottom of the hill are the ruins of a moated, medieval manor house, Old Scotney Castle, parts of which date back to the 1370s. Originally it might have been a rectangular structure with a tower at each corner but, by the 1550s only the south and east wing and the south tower remained
The Old Castle
The old castle lies on an island in the middle of a small lake.
Approaching The Old Castle
The gardens reach up the hill from the old castle to the new house at the top.
Looking Up From The Old To The New Castle
The old castle can only be approached across a bridge
Closer to the Old Castle
A sunny day always brings crowds of visitors but we did find a quiet spot to enjoy a moment of peace and calm, at ease with the world….
By the water...
Edward Hussey part demolished the east wing but, following the fashion of the time, he left the ruin as the centrepiece of a garden.
The last of the Husseys, Christopher, died in 1970 and bequeathed the estate to The National Trust and, after Betty, his widow, died in 2006, the house and gardens were opened to the public.
The first warm, sunny day of the summer and nowhere better to be than this beautiful part of Old England…..