Over the last bank holiday weekend we spent a day riding around Kent and visited a couple of historic sites.
Our first stop was Scotney Castle which belongs to the National Trust. You’ll actually find two houses here – the original medieval castle and moat from the 14th century, as well as the Victorian country house which was built in 1837 to replace the old castle.
We started our visit with a look inside the house. Entrance to the house is done on timed intervals so you may have to wait a while during busy periods (we had about a 30 minute wait before our timeslot which was the perfect opportunity to grab a bite to eat from the cafe).
The house was built by Edward Hussey III using sandstone quarried from the grounds of the Old Castle. The property remained in the family until 2006 when it was handed over to the National Trust.
The house is filled with paintings, textiles, furniture and books and has not been altered much since the last resident, Elizabeth Hussey, lived there.
After we’d finished touring the house we wandered down through the gardens and to the moated castle.
Even though the castle is a ruin now you can still go inside and see some of the rooms, however these are unfurnished.
We then moved on to our second stop for the day, Bayham Abbey, which is located on the Kent/Sussex border and was only a 10 minute drive from Scotney Castle. It was built in the 13th century by Premonstratensian monks.
There isn’t much of the original structure left but there are signs to indicate where the original rooms were located. There weren’t many other visitors which made it quite a tranquil setting.
The tree growing out of the alter was a beautiful sight.
If you’re an English Heritage member and happen to be in the area then I think its definitely worth stopping by, however if you aren’t a member I don’t think there’s enough to see to justify paying the full admission price. You can see everything in under an hour.
Scotney Castle is located in Lamberhurst, Kent. Admission to the whole property is £13, or free for National Trust members. Parking is available on-site but you have to pay if you aren’t an NT member.
Admission to Bayham Old Abbey is £4.90, or free for English Heritage members. There’s a small car park on-site and parking is free.