Home » Discover the Timeless Charms of Scotney Castle, England

Discover the Timeless Charms of Scotney Castle, England

The stunning Scotney Castle, situated southeast of Lamberhurst in the county of Kent, has a long and rich history, with the earliest record of the property dating back to 1137.

Within its 780 acres, you’ll find the ruins of a medieval castle, the Scotney Old Castle, and a Victorian mansion alongside a picturesque garden.

The old castle was built in 1378-80 by Roger Ashburnham, the Keeper of the Peace in Kent and Sussex. He constructed the palace to safeguard against potential invasions, as French ships had invaded the Sussex coast then, causing widespread damage and panic among the local population.

The castle’s construction, situated on an island in a small lake, initially began as an approximately rectangular fortified house with towers at each corner, surrounded by a wide moat. However, it underwent alterations in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Scotney Castle

It appears that the original plan may never have been completed, and today, all that remains of the castle is a single round tower – the Ashburnham Tower. The locations of the other three buildings can still be seen, but the wall survives only as a lining for the surrounding moat.

However, the last private owners, the Hussey family, completely abandoned the old castle in 1843 in favour of a new house higher up on the hill. Consequently, the castle was carefully partially dismantled by Edward Hussey to use parts of it to construct his new house overlooking this site.

The mansion, on the other hand, is a stunning example of Victorian architecture. Built in the Tudor Revival style, it is an elegant residence with exquisite interiors, luxurious furnishings, and impressive architectural details. The mansion offers visitors a glimpse into 19th-century high society life, with its decorated halls, opulent libraries, and majestic rooms.

Scotney Castle Mansion

Scotney Castle Mansion, Kent, England

With its 780 acres, the gardens of Scotney Castle are a true delight for nature and gardening enthusiasts. From romantic Victorian gardens to beautifully landscaped corners, each step reveals a new breathtaking view. The flower season brings a spectacle of colours and scents, with the gardens constantly transforming throughout the year.

The Hussey family resided at Scotney until it was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1970. It now oversees and maintains the mansion, castle ruins, and glorious garden intact.

To round off your day, there’s nothing like a picnic with friends or family since picnicking is permitted anywhere on the property.

Scotney Castle, England

Prices

National Trust members enter for free (read more about NT here). For non-members, entrance fees may vary based on age, family, and group. As these prices may be updated, I recommend checking the official website here for the latest information on entry fees and available packages.

How to get there?Scotney Castle Garden

Accessing this idyllic destination is most convenient by car, allowing you to savour the scenic countryside route.

Car
NT members enjoy free parking, and pre-booking is recommended. Address: Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN3 8JN, United Kingdom.

Train
The nearest station is approximately 9km away in Wadhurst. From there, you can take a taxi to Scotney Castle.

Bus
Some bus routes connect nearby towns to Lamberhurst. Once there, local taxis can be an option to reach Scotney Castle.

While my visit held its charm, I’m eagerly looking forward to revisiting at another time. During my previous visit, the castle and mansion were refurbishing, with scaffolding visible on some of the exterior walls.

Nearby Places

In the vicinity of Scotney Castle, there are several other National Trust properties worth exploring:

  1. Bodiam Castle: Situated around 12 miles (19 kilometers)of Scotney Castle, Bodiam Castle stands as a magnificent example of a medieval moated fortress. Read more here.
  2. Sissinghurst Castle Garden: Known for its iconic gardens, this property features distinct outdoor “rooms” with varied themes and stunning floral displays. Approximately 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Scotney.
  3. Ightham Mote: roughly 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Scotney, a medieval moated manor house that has remarkably survived over centuries. Read more here.
  4. Knole: read more here about one of England’s largest houses, notable for its impressive architecture, vast parkland, and exquisite collection of furniture and art. About 30 miles (48 kilometers) from Scotney.
  5. Chartwell: around 25 miles (40 kilometers)from the Castle, is the former home of Sir Winston Churchill, a fascinating property with beautiful gardens and insights into the life of this renowned statesman. Read more here.

Scotney Castle Mansion View

I hope you enjoyed this article and if you’ve experienced the charm of this captivating estate or have any insights to share, I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to comment below.

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