|Chiddingstone Castle, whose history can
be traced back to the early 16th Century, is a unique country house
located in the historic village of Chiddingstone in Kent. The original
Tudor dwelling was first replaced in the 1670s as High Street House
and went through another transformation in the early 1800s to resemble
a medieval castle, as was fashionable at the time – Chiddingstone
Castle was born!
|Between 1955 and 1977 the Castle was home to the late
antiquarian, Denys Eyre Bower. Denys was a gifted collector who
devoted his life to collecting art and artefacts. His home is now
open to the public and a fully Accredited Museum. The stately rooms
exhibit over 4,000 objects from Denys’ collections, including
Japanese lacquer, Samurai armour and swords; Ancient Egyptian antiquities;
Royal Stuart portraits and Jacobite memorabilia; and Buddhist artefacts.
|As well as learning from these remarkable and unique
collections, visitors can enjoy exploring this fascinating house
with rooms such as Denys’ study where one can piece together
his eccentric and complicated life, which featured failed marriages
and a notorious scandal. A number of Victorian rooms are also open
to visitors, including the Castle Kitchen, the Scullery and the
Housekeeper’s Room. From the Servants’ Hall group visitors
can climb the secret back stairs and discover the Servant’s
Bedroom in the attic – a real ‘upstairs downstairs’
experience (accompanied pre-booked groups only).
|On the first floor there is a new exhibition room
(the Streatfeild Room) featuring the history of the Castle and the
local area; and in 2015 the Library was opened to visitors for the
|The beautiful 35 acres of informal grounds which surround
the Castle include a lake, woodland, herbaceous borders, a courtyard
rose garden and a Victorian Orangery. In 2014, a unique conceptual
garden was created – a grass maze called the ‘Fields
of Eternity’, a microcosm of Ancient Egypt where visitors
can learn about life and the environment in 2000BC, linking the
garden to the collections within the house.
|The Castle is open to the public on Sundays, Mondays,
Tuesdays and Wednesdays only from Easter to the end of October.
A visit to the Castle would not be complete without sampling a light
lunch or a traditional cream tea in the Castle’s Tea Room
in the former Buttery or outside in the sunny, sheltered courtyard.
The Gift Shop is located in the Well Tower and sells a delightful
array of local produce, gifts, antiques and second-hand books.
|Chiddingstone Castle is also an award-winning wedding
and function venue; and various major events are held at the Castle
throughout each year, such as the Wedding Fair, Chiddingstone Castle
Literary Festival, Summer Vintage Fair, Country Fair and Christmas
Fair. For details of all the events and information on all aspects
of the Castle, please visit our website: www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk
or call 01892 870347.