About 8-10 kms away from Sissinghurst, depending on what road you travel on, is the lovely, old Scotney Castle.
We arrived by car and had no trouble finding a Car-Park. As we were getting near closing time for the Manor Home, we decided to make our 1st stop there.
This is the 'newer' house which was built between 1835 & 1843 to replace the Old Castle. It's built on a hill, and is known as "Scotney Castle." The architecture is 19th century Tudor Revival.
It really hasn't been open to the public for that long, only from June 2007, after the death of the owner Mrs. Betty Hussey in 2006.
So there are two Castle's that I had to see here, the old, and the new..........
And still, there was more...........
The beautiful landscaped garden's were a must see, so there was plenty of walking for me to do too!
At least there was the Coach House Tea - room, just in case I was hungry or thirsty! Cream teas or hot and cold lunches, Ice-cream's and more choices were available. Of course, there is a souvenir shop, and they sell Scotney ale, Scotney honey and plants.
So, lets pay the admission fee, and then we will begin our tour of the two Scotney Castle's and the garden's.
ADMISSION IN 2013....
◾Group adult: £7.10
◾Group adult: £11.30
OPEN......Please check the website for opening hours, as they vary throughout the year.
ADMISSION WAS FREE FOR NATIONAL TRUST & ENGLISH HERITAGE PASS HOLDERS.
Many times I had seen and heard about this Castle & Garden on Television. It was hard to believe, that I was actually here at this famous Castle!
The Castle has had its share of important visitor's, including King Edward I to stay during the 14th century, Queen Mary in 1557 and Queen Elizabeth1 in 1573.
The Moat no longer exists all the way around, it now has only two sides with water and the other is a grass walkway.
So what I am looking at now, is a large Elizabethan Manor with a huge lovely garden surrounding it.
OPEN... 12 Mar - 30 Oct 11... 10:30 - 5PM...... MON, TUES, FRI, SAT, SUN.
Vegatable garden....AS ABOVE
The shop and Restaurant is open from 11am - 4pm on the same days.
The Estate is open all year from dawn to dusk.
ADMISSION IN 2013
◾Group adult: £9.90
We had the Great British Heritage pass so admission for us was free.
Just my opinion, I think if you come to Scotney Castle, you really should see the gardens.
The gardens are big, and there is a fair amount of walking to do, and on the way back, of course it is uphill!
We were here a bit off season for a lot of Flower's, but I have seen photo's when the Rhododendron's and Azalea's and other plant's are blooming at the same time, and it is a real picture.
I liked the garden in the ruins. The empty window's made nice frames for the garden, and there were garden seats to sit and enjoy the scene, or perhaps the Duck's on the Moat. I like the way they have used the quarry as a garden, instead of leaving it as an eyesore! The Boatshed is another nice spot, great reflection's and plenty of Tree's, this would be very nice for Autumn colours.
Altogether, a stunning garden, one of my favorite's!
So, we have just been into the "new" Scotney Castle and enjoyed that, so now we will take a walk through the garden and have a look at the "old" Scotney Castle.
Wow! This is nice!
I have come across the moated Castle that was built between 1378 - 1380. The water was so calm, and the reflection's were lovely, this is a stunning part of the garden.
The Old Castle is described as a "fortified house with towers in each corner." Unfortunately, by 1558, only one Tower remained. In 1580 the south wing was rebuilt in Elizabethan architecture style, and around 1630, the eastern range was rebuilt. Some of the eastern range was partly dismantled on the completion of the new house in 1843, and was left as a ruin for a garden feature, I think this makes the area extra nice.
No wonder they call this one of the most Romantic garden's in England!
I thought it was really worthwhile having a look inside the Manor.
Plenty of antique furniture, old photo's, paintings, china-ware and the various rooms to see. Some of the rooms were done in wood panelling, and another had lots of beautiful carvings. The Library fireplace had beautifully carved wood panelling surrounding it. Ceilings were stuccoed, wall's wall-papered. I saw nice Lamp's with hand painted china bottoms.
What was different, were the Vase's full of "feather" flowers, very unique!
Volunteer's were on hand to answer questions, and I was allowed to take photo's.
Although not an old, old, House, it still was very interesting!
As we entered the little village of Sissinghurst, we couldn't help but notice the Village sign and the Penny Farthing Bike beside it.
Evidently, this Penny Farthing was originally erected on the nearby Wilsey Pound roundabout for the Tour de France, which travelled through Sissinghurst on 8th July 2007.
So what else was there to see......Plenty!
There were gardens full of Blues, Purples and Lavender's, and any colour that blended nicely with these colours.
A Rose, Azalea and White garden, and lets not forget the Orchard and the Lime Trees.
By the Tower, the lawn had been cut immaculately, and once again, there were flower borders.
This whole garden was picture perfect, and we loved it!
If you come, don't forget to leave plenty of time, as there is plenty to see for all those who have a love of flowers, and gardens.
I nearly forgot, after all the walking, there is always the Tea-room to sit and enjoy that cuppa!
We arrived, parked the car, then went to show our passes at the Admission centre.
Before entering the garden, we decided to visit the Museum which was included in the price and located inpart of the Oast House's. There wasn't much to see, but I did like seeing the miniature of Sissinghurst and its gardens.
From here, we then entered through the gate and into the gardens.
There is a series of 10 separate garden's, all different. Walls and hedges separate the gardens.
So, What to see first?
Right infront of our eyes was the exremely tall Elizabethan Tower. We walked over to go inside but were stopped, as only a certain amount of people are allowed in at a time. We never did get inside!
The Tower is one room deep, and was built in the 1560's. This was where Vita Sackville-West, poet and gardening writer and the last owner, wrote about 20 books. She loved this room, and used it as her study until she died in 1962.
If we had been able to go inside, we would have gone up to the top of the Tower, where I am sure the views of the garden would have been incredible.
The Cottage garden is where we headed to next. I love Cottage gardens, especially in places like Sissinghurst, as they often have rarer plants, and ones I don't see at home.
Sissinghurt's Cottage garden, laid out in 1931, is made up of a lot of the "hot" colours, like yellow's, red's and orange's. It is filled with the latest hybrids and newly introduced species even back in the 1930's, and this has been carried on right up till today.
Paths are made out of bricks and stone, and give a rustic appeal to the garden. Flowers overflow onto them, and they look wonderful!
In one part of the garden, there is an old copper Boiler that was found in the farmyard.
This is one very nice Cottage Garden!
Superb gardens well worth visiting in spring, summer and autumn as you will also get a different aspect.