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.
Inside Rosamund’s Tower.
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
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
Finally two photos of chainsaw art in or near the Barn, I love the dragon