Day 7 of our #KentAdventCalendar is Scotney Castle – one of those places that you can visit time and time again and always find something new, and on the ‘must visit’ list of many families – both from the UK and overseas – who holiday at Barnfield House.
I took this photo in late October when it was unusually still with clear blue skies, and the 14th Century medieval castle cast a perfect reflection in the surrounding moat. Such a scene is perhaps the epitome of this 780-acre estate with its wooded gardens and banks of rhododendrons and azaleas. The castle itself had been helped into its ruined state in the 1830a by architect Anthony Salvin who saw it as the romantic focus of landscaped gardens for a grand house he had been commissioned to build for industrialist Edward Hussey III. His descendant Christopher Hussey left the estate to the National Trust in 1970, since when the gardens, woodland and parkland have been open to the public. But it was only in 2007 on the death of his widow Betty that the house itself opened to visitors, showing the mark of different generations in its furniture, ornaments, artefacts and décor – from the formal wood-panelled Victorian ground floor rooms to Betty’s time-capsule second floor quarters complete with her 60s wardrobe.
Visit in December for a taste of a traditional Victorian Hussey family Christmas: roaring log fires; towering trees with twinkling fairy lights, hand-crafted decorations, and piles of gift-wrapped presents at their base; Noah’s Arc animals set out ready for play on the Persian carpet; dining table beautifully laid for the Christmas meal….and Christmas carols.
Click here for more information on Scotney Castle and events in the run-up to Christmas.