We continued through the countryside in Kent, and came across another great estate, Penshurst Place, surrounded by ancient parkland. I had read about this grand building, parts of which dated back to the 14th century. The halls and rooms were incredible and even more so when you realized that the heart of the house was medieval from the Tudor period. Henry VIII was said to have used it as a hunting lodge.
It has been described as “the grandest and most perfectly preserved example of a fortified manor house in all England”.
I loved the sense of history here. It really was just a family historic home, but every time you turned a corner, you expected to run into a medieval nobleman or lady. We just have nothing that can compare to this in the United States, and it humbles you to realize the long, vast history of English-speaking people.
Many films have been made here, including The Other Boleyn Girl. Sound recordists from the Harry Potter film series came and recorded floor creaks in the Long Gallery to get authentic sound effects.
After a quick tour of the building, My Beloved Brit and I went out in to the gardens. We started by crossing the sunken garden outside the main structure.
We passed down a few long passages of gardens in rainbow hues, some quite whimsical in their design…
…and then we entered a maze of exquisite garden “rooms”. Each had their own personality.
They were varied and lovely, even in the rain which kept starting and stopping. It didn’t matter at all. Sun or grey, they were lovely.
You could get lost in the many passages as you cut through the “doorways” in the hedge walls that separated them.
It was unique and lovely and made for a truly wonderful afternoon.
I love Kent, fondly known as “England’s Garden”. Aptly named.
Every time you are tempted to curse the rain, you realize that it is responsible for these extraordinary explosions of nature. I love every drop.