Knole House and Garden


Fri Sep 13th


Diane C


Free to National Trust members, £16 for non-members. Additional cost for gardens and attic tour. Two for one offer via train ticket. £10 supplement for attendees from Meetup.


Our social takes us to Kent to visit this magnificent house and a rare opportunity to visit Lord Sackville's private garden. The 26-acre garden is only open a few days a year. Knole House is a remarkably preserved early Jacobean remodelling of a medieval archbishop's palace. From an even older manor house, it was built and extended by the Archbishops of Canterbury after 1456. During the Tudor dynasty it became a royal residence when Henry VIII hunted there and found it to be a good home for his daughter - later to become Mary I - during his divorce from her mother, Catherine of Aragon. We will discover the story of Vita Sackville-West's life at Knole through to her wedding and bittersweet departure in 1913. This story will be brought to life around you through key moments in Vita's life. We will explore the Great Hall, where on the table you'll see wedding presents that were gifted to Vita and Harold alongside a marriage album assembled by Vita. This is a rare chance to see the original manuscript of 'Orlando', which is on show in the ballroom. Seldom displayed due to its fragile nature, the manuscript has Virginia Woolf's handwritten notes on. There is also a chance to visit the attic. These behind-the-scenes tours will take in the decorated ceilings, graffiti, witchmarks - also known as ritual protection marks - and artefacts found in the Retainer's Gallery, South Barracks and Upper King's Room. Conservation work has been left visible in places, laying open the bare bones of the house and exposing the craftsmanship underlying its structure.


Cafe on site, option to bring packed lunch


Trains from London Charing Cross and London Bridge to Sevenoaks. Short walk to venue around 1 mile. Free parking near station.


10:30am prompt outside Sevenoaks Station, postcode TN13 1LW


Around 5:00pm at start point


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