Explore the fascinating history of Knole House, Kent
If ever there was an argument for the importance of the National Trust, Kent's Knole House is it. This 15th century palace built for bygone archbishops before becoming the property of Henry VIII and then the influential Sackville family (Vita Sackville-West was brought up here and missed inheriting it because she was female), is an utter treasure trove of priceless artefacts that tell the tale of the house and its owners in spectacular fashion. Yet the centuries have taken their toll on the exquisite collection of Stuart furniture, textiles, portraits and tapestries with light, damp and pests putting them in peril. The National Trust has taken up the mantle and is now carrying out extensive work to make the house water-tight and restore it to its former glory. Visitors to this beautiful building, surrounded by a vast deer park, are welcomed in to see what the NT is doing and there's still plenty on display to dazzle. Don't miss the Estate's Office which contains Knole's hidden histories display and the pretty Orangery where free textile, fine art, fashion and photography exhibitions change regularly.