holiday and travel guide to the UK

Featured Kent Historic Houses

At Throwley, 4.5 miles south-west of Faversham, off A251 A neo-classical 18th century mansion set in delightful grounds. The estate was created and the first house built in 1769. In 1801 it was acquired by General George Harris, later the 1st Lord Harris. The 5th Lord was a collector of clocks, and this collection is one of the highlights of Belmont. The house remains as it was designed by Samuel Wyatt. The park surrounding Belmont was laid out in the 1790s when the house was built. Garden follies include a shell grotto.>> More Information
Boughton Monchelsea
3 miles south of Maidstone, leave A229 at Linton, off B2163 In 1551 the estate was purchased by Robert Rudston, and the house seen today is largely Rudston's work. In 1903 the property was purchased by Lt-Colonel G.B. Winch, and in 1954 his nephew, Michael Winch, inherited the estate and converted a section of the house into apartments. The estate has a deer park, garden and a courtyard.>> More Information
2 miles south of Westerham, off B2026 The home of Sir Winston Churchill from 1924 until his death in 1965. Here Churchill not only painted and wrote but also created garden walls, rockeries and waterworks, and even built a large swimming pool. The rooms are furnished as they were in the 1930s. The Garden Studio has Sir Winston's paintbox and easel on display and a number of his paintings.>> More Information
Chiddingstone Castle
4 miles east of Edenbridge, off B2027 The Streatfeild family built a manor house on their 3,000 acre estate, and in the 19th century Henry Streatfeild began to remodel the house in the 'Castle Style'. It was purchased by Denys Bower in 1955 and was derelict. When he died in 1977 a private charitable trust was set up to run the property. The Trust, with English Heritage, has carried out a restoration of the Castle. There are collections of furniture,a Japanese Collection and an Egyptian Collection. The Castle is set in a 35 acre park.>> More Information
Chiddingstone Village
4 miles east of Edenbridge, off B2027 One of the most attractive hamlets in Kent,built at the height of the Wealden iron industry and are all that remains of a much larger settlement that was demolished for the park of Chiddingstone Castle. The group of houses faces the mainly 17th century parish church of St Mary. Although the village is open to the public the actual houses are not open to view.>> More Information
Cobham Hall
At Cobham, 1 mile south of A2 One of largest and most important houses in Kent. The fine red-brick mansion was built in Elizabethan, Jacobean, Carolean and 18th century styles. The de Cobham family occupied a house here in the Middle Ages, and in 1613 the manor was presented by James I to Luodvic Stuart. During the Civil War the family were supporters of the King and lucky to retain their properties. In 1672 it passed to John Bligh until 1961, the house was purchased by the present owners and Cobham Hall is now an independent public school for girls. The gardens are being restored.>> More Information
Near Lamberhurst, 2 miles west of Goudhurst, signposted off A262 An early 18th century house set in wooded farmland. The house is named after the family who lived here in the 13th century. In 1568 it was acquired by the Bathurst family, who built the house, completed in 1725. It passed through several hands to the present owner, Richard Burnett, in 1971. He is a pianist, leading exponent of the early piano, collector and entrepreneur, and restored the building, which houses his collection of historic keyboards. Musical events and festivals are staged here. Grounds have views over parkland, and a walled garden.>> More Information
Ightham Mote
6 miles east of Sevenoaks, off A227 A 14th century manor house set in a wooded valley. In 1521 the manor house was purchased by the great courtier Sir Richard Clement. All the furniture in the house has been added since the 1950s when the original contents of the Ightham Mote were sold, the house is now in the care of the National Trust. The house has a beautiful garden with lakes and woodland. The estate provides many country walks.>> More Information
Southern end of Sevenoaks High Street, off A225 The largest private house in England, medieval architecture with Jacobean embellishments, built in the 15th century. It was the birthplace of Vita Sackville-West. In 1946 the house was given to the National Trust, but the contents of the house and the park remain the property of the Sackville family. The furniture, embroidered textiles and tapestries, ornate plaster ceilings and carved chimneypieces reflect the superb craftsmanship which created the house. Pictures include Old Masters. The 1,000 acre park has ancient oaks, chestnuts and beeches.>> More Information
Lullingstone Roman Villa
0.5 mile south-west of Eynsford, off A225 The Villa was one of the most exiting archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. The large country villa has been extensively excavated in recent years. There are mosaic tiled floors and the remains of one of the earliest private Christian chapels. English Heritage. An audio tour gives an insight into how the owners lived.>> More Information
At Cobham, 1 mile south of A2 A two-storey red-brick house built in the reign of Charles II for Bonham and Elizabeth Hayes, prosperous Kentish farmers. The interior was completed in 1684 and the date is marked on the superb plaster ceiling over the staircase. It passed to the Baker family in 1794, who added the north wing. The architect Sir Herbert Baker was born at Owletts in 1862. and he collected much of the furniture. He left Owletts to National Trust. The broad lawns and tennis courts reflect that this is a family house.>> More Information
Penshurst Place
4.5 miles north-west of Tunbridge Wells, on B2176 A medieval manor house, built in the 14th century for Sir John de Pulteney. It has the oldest example of a medieval hall in England. Closely associated with royalty, in 1552 Penshurst was given to Sir William Sidney. The rooms provide a backdrop to the collection of paintings, furniture and tapestries. The house has a famous deer park.>> More Information
Quebec House
East end of Westerham village, on A25, facing B2026 junction to Edenbridge General James Wolfe spent the first 11 years of his life at Quebec House. The building has been returned to its 17th century appearance.4 rooms house a collection of portraits, prints and mementos relating to General Wolfe and his victory at Quebec in 1759. The Tudor stable block houses an exhibition describing the Quebec campaign. Canada has played a great role in the preservation of the building. Mrs J.B. Learmont of Montreal left Quebec House to the National Trust and Canadian funds have not only contributed to the upkeep of the building but also enriched the collection of mementos.>> More Information
Smallhythe Place
2 miles south of Tenterden, on east side of B2082 A half-timbered late-15th century farmhouse, it was the country retreat of the Shakespearean actress Dame Ellen Terry from 1899 until her death in 1928. It has been altered over the years it retains its character. Today it is preserved as a theatrical museum, with a display of costumes.The garden at Smallhythe Place is open to the public and there is also a barn theatre.>> More Information
Squerryes Court
0.5 mile south-west of Westerham, off A25 The manor and site of Squerryes Court are ancient but the present house was built in 1680 by Sir Nicholas Crisp. John Warde, inherited Squerryes Court in 1746. He was a great art collector and his collection of paintings still in the house. In the 19th century two wings were pulled down and replaced to be demolished after World War II and only the central block remains. It is still the home of the Warde family, and has parkland and gardens, restored using a print of 1719 as a guide.>> More Information
St John's Jerusalem
At Sutton-at-Hone, 3 miles south of Dartford, on the east side of the A225 A haven after the bustle of Dartford. The Commandery of the Knights was dissolved at the Reformation, only the chapel survives. The house,built in the late 17th century, has lawns stretching away to the the moat. Now in the care of the National Trust, only the chapel and the garden are open to the public.>> More Information
At north end of the village of Otham, 3 miles south-east of Maidstone, 1 mile south of A20 A half-timbered gentleman's house dating from about 1480. By the end of the First World War Stoneacre had become derelict, but in the 1920s the building was restored. The 15th century great hall forms the centrepiece of a larger house. Stoneacre is in the care of the National Trust. Outside there is a restored cottage garden.>> More Information
Get Our Newsletter
Offers, short break ideas, event news, and ideas on attractions to visit, all in our newsletter emailed direct to you.