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Thursday, 18 October 2012

Westenhanger Castle and Medieval Barns


The Medieval barn with the amazing hammerbeam roof.


Last week we had a weeks leave, so we took the opportunity of visiting Westenhanger Castle and Medieval Barns, which are truly  hidden gems. Anyone visiting Folkestone Racecourse will know the Castle, as is right next to the racecourse. The Castle can be seen from the trains running from Dover to London, but we had never had the opportunity to visit before now. The Castle is only open to the Public on Tuesdays during the summer, but the site is very well known as a wonderful wedding venue. It is the perfect place for a wedding, with a fantastic setting and a large marquee in the garden, which is beautifully set up. My daughter now has an idea of where she would like to get married, when the time comes!



The original castle entrance.


The Tudor range of buildings.


There have been buildings on this site since the 11th century, with the original castle being built in the 14th century. The remains of numerous Tudor buildings can be seen whilst walking round the site, and a Manor house was built within the castle walls in the 18th century. There has been a lot of alterations to the site over the hundreds of years of its history.



Rosamund’s Tower.


Inside Rosamund’s Tower.


The well.

One of the circular towers was used to hold prisoners whilst another is the dovecote, this is attached to the Tudor kitchens. There is a lot of building work being done at the Castle, the Tudor kitchens are being restored at the moment, we will be going back to see them when they are finished.


The entrance to the Tudor kitchens, the renovation work can be clearly seen.


A Tudor oven, undergoing restoration.


Inside the Dovecote.


There is a large square tower in the middle of the North Wall of the castle known as Rosamund’s Tower. This was named for Rosamund de Clifford, mistress of Henry ll who stayed at the castle. Rosamund’s ghost is said to be seen walking along the wall at times.


The Manor House


the ship in the garden Smile


The side of the Manor House and the Dovecote Tower.


Replica of The Discovery.

There is a designated way to walk round the castle and grounds, this is such a good idea, as it ensures that we got to see everything. You will notice the ship in the garden, this is a copy of the Discovery, one of three ships that left London in 1606 bound for the New World and paid for by the then owner of Westenhanger, Sir Thomas Smythe, the son of Thomas ‘Customer’ Smythe.


Rosamund’s Tower with the Medieval Barn in the background.




The tour of the Castle ends at the beautiful medieval Barn with the stables behind, the barn has been restored, the stables are still undergoing restoration. The hammerbeam roof of the barn is truly magnificent, and is a high status structure, Westminster Hall and Stirling Castle being two more examples of this sort of roof. The barn was built in c1578 by Thomas ‘Customer’ Smythe, and represents the wealth and standing of the owner at that time.





The Medieval Barn.


Inside the Medieval Barn, a wonderful sight.


Westenhanger Castle and barns are most certainly worth a visit, the restoration of the buildings is on-going, the work that has already been done on the site is amazing, all credit to the present owners of the site. Although it wasn’t the best weather for visiting my husband, daughter and myself had a lovely time walking round, and would recommend this site to anyone Smile


Finally two photos of chainsaw art in or near the Barn, I love the dragon Smile



  1. Fantastic tour, what an awesome place. Thanks for having us come along.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Horst, I have a couple more places to blog about still, I have been busy visiting places this year! :)

  2. The ship's captain either had no sense of direction or he couldn't read his charts - if he'd turned left, he'd have found the sea. As it is, he's ended up in someone's back garden !! :o)

    Fab pics as always, Val, & like you, I love, love LOVE the dragon :o)

    1. Lol, I bet the Captain was really confused!! Looking forward to seeing you two next week :D xx

  3. Incredible structures from the past Poppy, we really don't have anything like that here. At least not in castle form. Thanks for sharing your pics!

    Cheers. : )

  4. There's been quite a lot of not the best weather for visits lately Val - unfortunately this is Britain so glad to see you're out there anyway. I'm quite sure everyone needs a replica ship in their garden. Perhaps the owner knows something we don't - how many cubits long was it meant to be?
    Good visit :)

    1. You are right about the weather Sandy, my friend and I went to Hever Castle a couple of weeks ago, and we only had a bit of rain. That is my favourite Castle ever, there will be a blog about it soon....lol
      Really sorry I know nothing about cubits, but seeing the ship in the garden was pretty amazing!!

  5. Lovely pictures your travels are so exciting , I haven't done much of that of late. But I have enjoyed yours .
    Thank you for sharing
    Sheila x

  6. Thank you for the wonderful tour, I just love all those old stone buildings.

  7. Read about Westenhanger in Sunday Times----ty for interesting pics

  8. Glad you found them helpful to you :)