Hidden away in a secluded Kent valley is Ightham's perfectly preserved medieval moated manor house. Dating back 700 years, previous owners have included medieval knights, a courtier to King Henry VIII, high society Victorians and an American businessman. The house comes full of stories and is nestled within gardens, surrounded by natural springs and running water.
Where is Ightham Mote located?
In West Kent, a few minutes outside Sevenoaks, it is close to the M25 as well as to Tonbridge and Maidstone.
What is the history of Ightham Mote to the present day?
The house dates back to the mid 1300s and has evolved with its owners through the centuries, each leaving their mark. In the 1500s it was owned by the Sherrif of Kent, who sold it to the Selby family. They owned a number of large estates in England, and remained at Ightham until the late 1800s.
The house was lived in briefly by the Palmers, an American Railroad tycoon and part founder of the Denver Rio Grande Western. In this time it was a centre for writers and artists.
In 1890 the house was bought by the Colyer-Fergussons, who did much restoration and opened the property to visitors for the first time. The final owner, the American Charles Henry Robinson, left the property to the National Trust.
What is there to see and do at Ightham Mote?
The house is hidden in the wooded valley, and surrounded by the flowing moat. There are fourteen acres of gardens, lakes and lawns. This includes herbaceous borders, cutting garden, orchard, wild flower meadows and woods.
The main house has over 70 rooms, which surround a large attractive courtyard. Highlights in the house include the Great Hall, Tudor Chapel, Library and living spaces including bedrooms. There is also the old chapel with its crypt, and there is the worker's rooms in the southeast - which are opened on selected days.
The site has a shop, as well as a 54 seat café, with an additional 60 seats on an outside patio. The property is also surrounded by a substantial wooded estate.