copyright Penshust Place
Penshurst Place is a spectacular medieval mansion at the end of sumptuous gardens and surrounded by picturesque Kent countryside. The present manor house dates from 1341 and is considered to be the most complete example of 14th century architecture in England. It has been the ancestral home of the Sidney family for 450 years, and was the birthplace of the great Elizabethan poet, courtier and soldier, Sir Philip Sidney
The great hall has been described as one of the world’s grandest rooms and the 6-metre-long 15th century trestle tables it contains, are unique.
The gardens’ origins are as old as the house’s and unusually they retain their Elizabethan framework which was destroyed in so many other gardens by 18th century ‘improvers’.
The garden is one of the oldest in private ownership. The earliest records are dated 1346, and much of the garden remains as it was in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The garden has over a mile of yew hedges, three thousand roses and is home to a 450-year-old yew in the southwest corner of the Italian Garden. Today there are over 48 acres of grounds to explore which incorporate the lake, arboretum and the 11 acre Grade I listed formal garden which is divided into a series of garden rooms, each with its own distinct character and colour.
The famous Sidney Oak, which sadly died in 2016, was reputed to have been planted at the christening of Sir Philip Sidney in 1554. However, the girth of this English Oak suggests it was in fact, 1000 years old. Its legacy is guaranteed by its acorns which have been planted all over the world, and as a result of cloning, saplings genetically identical to the tree are planted on the estate.