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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Ightham Mote, Sevenoaks, Kent. Part 1

The first view of the house as you walk down through the grounds.

Part of the Moat.

Last summer my friend and I decided to have a day out, but instead of  driving anywhere, we went on a coach trip. Our destinations were Ightham Mote and Knole Park, two wonderfully different houses set quite closely together near Sevenoaks in Kent.

A wonderful building

We arrived at Ightham Mote late morning. I had been to the house once before, when my children were very small. At that time a large part of the house was undergoing a huge renovation programme, so we were unable to see the whole building. This time we were able to see all there was to see, and it was wonderful.

One of the three bridges giving access to the building, this one is not in use for the public.

The main bridge crossing the moat into the house.

Ightham has a very friendly atmosphere, it is essentially a Medieval Moated Manor House, built round an inner courtyard, which has seen 700 years of alterations. Anya Seton’s novel ‘Green Darkness’ was set in this gorgeous building, and since reading the book many years ago, I had wanted very much to see the house. For those of you who have read the novel you will know that the story included a walled up body, but I was told by a member of the Ightham House staff that there was no body ever found walled up, as in the book, but I am not so sure that is true!

A stained glass window from the outside.

The courtyard, notice the Dog House, which is the only Grade 1 Listed Dog House.

As with all these beautiful Country houses, Ightham has seen very many changes over the centuries, including one time in its history when it was under threat of being demolished, or changed into flats! Luckily neither of these plans came to fruition. The house in now part of the National Trust, who are doing a wonderful job with this and many of our historical buildings.

The photos in this blog are all of the exterior of the house, in Part 2 I will share photos of the beautiful interior.

A colourful display in the courtyard :)

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