Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Ever been to Ightham Mote?

Have you been to Ightham Mote in Kent? If not I thoroughly recommend it.

I've been wanting to go to this place for quite a while now (my parents keep telling me we went when I was very small, but I don't remember it!), so on Monday my family and I started our journey across Kent. When we have a family day-out we usually end up on the Kent and East Sussex Railway (steam trains), stop off at Bodiam Castle and come back the same way. This time we thought about doing something different.

Our first stop was Old Soar Manor near Sevenoaks. It took a while to find this place as the signposts were very unhelpful. Here it is:

It was built in 1290 as a knight's dwelling. As you can see it's rather small compared to other Medieval properties and beautifully preserved. Below shows the large room at the top of the spiral staircase:

I'd love to live in a place like this! It just needs a few tapestries and some furniture. Anyway I digress.

We then got back in the car just as it started chucking it down and headed off to Ightham Mote. On the way we past loads of Oast Houses, as you'd expect in Kent, and when we finally got there it was packed. After a spot of lunch we headed off down the path and suddenly through the trees appeared this beautiful Medieval moated manor house. Ightham Mote is spectacular! It was started around 1330 and has been added to over the centuries.

This is the east side:

The top half of this side was added in the 15th Century. As you can see the moat is quite small. There are small streams around the grounds that supply the water it needs.

Once through the side door you are greeted with a charming courtyard that boasts the only Grade I listed dog kennel in the country.

We spent the next hour wandering through the house and then went to have a look at the lake past the lawn. It's so peaceful in this place and is a great place to visit.

I did have a reason for wanting to come to this place. I'm in the process of reading Green Darkness by Anya Seton and part of it takes place here. There is a story of a Lady or servant who was walled up somewhere in the house and this is the central theme of the novel. It's a terrific read. I must admit I did feel something as I was walking through the Great Hall. Who knows!

If you ever find yourself in Kent, go and visit Ightham Mote. It's well worth it.


Fox said...

Loved this post. Was in Kent once but did not know about this site at the time. I would go in a minute! I have ordered that novel from the library on your recommendation! Ah, for the airfare; it would be so nice!
Fox : )

Pat said...

Not heard of Ightham Mote before - so thank you for the post and the gorgeous pictures. Next time we're in Kent, we'll go see it for sure!

jms said...

what a lovely place, I love old moated houses.

Sandra Darling ~ Visual Art Creations said...

gosh its looks just so lovely!!! The story is those walls and paths could talk!?

Sandra Darling xoxo

Faerie Moon Creations said...

How beautiful! Looks like I place would LOVE to visit. Thank you for sharing the information and the photos. :) Theresa

TataniaRosa said...

You're welcome everyone.

I hope you enjoy the book Fox :)

Miss Val's Creations said...

This place looks wonderful. I've been to Leeds Castle some years ago which I believe was in the area. Next time I travel to England I would love to see this place! I fell in love with the countryside and ancient structures!

Fox said...

Just got the book from thelibrary... loving it so far!
Gothic Fox : )