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


Terri said...

I always enjoy your tours, Barbara. Love the gardens and the architecture. Can't wait to see the inside.

Bernideen said...

I love those rows of boxwoods. It is amazingly green and lovely! The age of the buildings is what is so unique!

Vee said...

I did enjoy seeing the gardens, which look so formal. The hedge is a beautiful one...we have one leading into the local cemetery that is a fright. Perhaps it once looked that good.

Lorrie said...

Sissinghurst is on my list of places to visit in England. The gardens with all the white flowers are lovely. Beautiful vistas in your photos. Looking forward to the next part.

Elizabethd said...

I've not been there, but we did enjoy the programmes last year which featured the work going on at Sissinghurst.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I really enjoyed your post today as all is white with snow here and quite frozen for sure. It's all we've seen for days. That place certainly has an interesting history. It's a beautiful garden and Nice to see some flowers blooming.

Needled Mom said...

I love those inviting gardens. What an interesting history the home has experienced!

a woman who is said...

It is interesting to think you were walking the paths of the same garden I visited in England. I truly treasured my visit. It was June and the color was in full swing. Looking forward to the inside tour, as I don't think I did that. Thanks for sharing

Gracie Saylor said...

I missed this post and am glad you sent me back here from your most recent post, Barabara. Thanks!

Lori Zehr said...

What a wonderful post! I rescued a book from our library sale about Vita Sackville-West and the gardens at Sissinghurst. So interesting! And your garden photos are lovely! I especially enjoyed the history of the place as I've done a small self-guided study of Old English and found it fascinating that the place was a Saxon pig farm! Amazing history and beautiful grounds!

kreativehaende said...

I own several books about sissinghurst and really enjoyed your post!

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

The famous Sissinghurst garden I've read about so often! Thank you for the tour. I am enjoying all your photos, the brick pathways, the views through arched doorways and gates, and all the greenery.