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Penshurst Place is one of Kent's finest historic houses, and also one of England's greatest defended manor houses with a peaceful setting in the picturesque Weald of Kent, it's history reaches back over six and a half centuries.
Built of local sandstone the finest feature in this medieval house is the magnificent Barons hall built in 1341 with its 60 ft high chestnut roof, a prime example of 14th century domestic architecture. Later additions have seen Penshurst Place expand into an imposing defended manor house, containing state rooms filled with a remarkable collection of tapestries, paintings, period furniture, fine porcelain and armour. Down the centuries Penshurst has welcomed many famous visitors including from 1519 Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother who lunched there in 1987.
King Henry VIII, his son King Edward VI, Queen Elizabeth I and more recently in 1986 the Prince of Wales followed by HM
The first recorded owner of the estate was Sir Stephen de Penchester a distinguished royal servant who died in 1299, he was followed half a century later by Sir John de Pulteney, a wealthy London merchant and financier. King Edward VI settled the fate of Penshurst when he presented it as a gift to Sir William Sidney in 1552 as a reward for his services as tutor and steward of the Royal household. It has remained the ancestral home of the Sydney family for 450 years, the present owner Philip Sydney, second Viscount De L'Isle succeeded his father in 1991 and now lives at Penshurst with his wife and their two children.
The ten acre walled and terraced formal gardens comprise a series of colourful garden rooms divided by yew hedges and sheltered by mellow Tudor brick alongside the River Medway. The gardens possess a very tranquil and enchanting quality. Recognised as one of the oldest Elizabethan gardens in private ownership with origins dating back to 1346, the gardens share the heritage of the house, and form a living record of Elizabethan garden design. One of the highlights is the scent of over 3000 roses and Lavender on warm sunny days in early summer.
In addition a visit to the Toy Museum is recommended as a source of interest for both young and old alike, there is also a woodland trail and plant and gift centre.
Penshurst Place and Gardens is situated off the M25 J.5 then the A21 exit to Hildenborough.