Thursday, 30 January 2014

Country Craft Market at Sissinghurst

On arrival at Sissinghurst I never expected to see a country craft and mini market
We decided to look around before leaving and of course it was worth it

I stocked up on locally grown Cox apples
and bought 4 new Lavender shrubs as they were at least half the price of buying in a garden centre

A lady spinning wool from her own sheep

Now this was the piece de la resistance (no comments French friends please!)
T'was where I bought my delicious caramel sauce (posted here at the time) and several packs of home made fudge plus some delicious Lavender jelly

Alan bought a gift for a friend here (on his own!)

but we passed on the luxury home made ice-cream as we knew we would be eating well at the away weekend
This concludes our visit to Sissinghurst which we would never have thought of visiting at this time of year if we had not been in the vicinity. Previous visits have always been in the Summer when the gardens are beautiful.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Sissinghurst Castle, Kent. Part 2

Having posted on the gardens at Sissinghurst in the last post where I shared lots of history of the place (do have a look if you missed that post) now to some random photos outside and a little inside 

The old Granary

and the modern Granary Restaurant where we had lunch

The Oasts where the grain would have been dried

the gift shop

I love looking through doors and arches

We will now go through the house entrance into the courtyard

and first go up the tower

Vita Sackville-West's writing room

we will continue up to the top

up the stairs to the left of the picture

passing the print room with printing press

and look around in all directions from the top

The Gazebos you see are the farmers market which we will visit in the next post

It's now time to go down

and have a browse in the library of the house

Time to move on to our venue for our church weekend away

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Sissinghurst Castle, Kent. Part 1

On our way down to our house church weekend away last September we decided to spend the day at Sissinghurst 
Not so much colour this time of year and the weather was dreary but the gardens were still looking good
I'll be doing this post in several parts and will start here with 
the gardens
I have included some history of the place which is interesting

Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson moved to Sissinghurst Castle in 1932 and started creating the now world famous garden at the heart of the estate.
However, Sissinghurst actually began life as a Saxon pig farm and within a few years had become a small moated manor house lived in by the family who shared their name with the place;
the Saxingherstes. Nothing remains of the original house today except for part of the moat.
By the late 16th century the site had been transformed by the affluent Baker family who built a magnificent Renaissance courtyard house, complete with vaulted gallery and tower at its centre.
Leased to the government during the Severn Years War
(1756-1763) Sissinghurst was used as a prison camp for 3,000 captured French sailors who largely destroyed the house.
In 1796 the Parish took out a lease on Sissinghurst Castle Farm, creating a poor house where up to 100 men were offered housing, employment and food.
By the 1800's Sissinghurst was home to the Mann Cornwallis family who repaired the remaining buildings, leaving their legacy on the tower weather vanes marked 'MC 1839'
Today Sissinghurst is also a working farm, with cattle, sheep and pigs and home to rare species of wild flowers, insects and birds.  

Way into the inner courtyards

We will be going onto the roof of the tower in another post

The gardens are mostly laid out in lots of different rooms set apart by deep hedges and brick walls

Boathouse on the Moat

We will go indoors in the next post
then finish with a farmer's market that was in the grounds to finish
Hope you enjoyed