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A quintessentially English home where chivalry, honour, romance and hospitality have reigned for centuries


Garden Tea-Room
Adventure Playground
Though at its heart a medieval and Tudor building, Penshurst Place has been modified and extended over the centuries. Eight architectural styles are evident, with plenty for visitors to explore in its fascinating history - and still many mysteries to be revealed.

Penshurst Place
The building of Penshurst Place began in 1341 by Sir John de Pulteney, who wanted a country establishment within a day’s ride of London. In 1552 it became the ancestral home of the Sidney family after King Edward VI had granted it to Sir William Sidney, who had been a courtier to the King’s father, Henry VIII. Sir William's son Henry (1529–1586) married Lady Mary Dudley, whose family became implicated in the Lady Jane Grey affair, although Henry himself escaped any such implications. During his lifetime he added apartments and the "King’s Tower" to Penshurst. He also created what is now one of England's oldest private gardens. This was also the birthplace of the great Elizabethan poet, courtier and soldier, Sir Philip Sidney (1554–1586), Henry’s son. Sir Philip was seen as one of the most prominent figures in the Elizabethan Age. Philip's brother Robert Sidney now inherited Penshurst. His time there resulted in more additions to the state rooms, including an impressive "Long Gallery". He had also inherited the Earldom of Leicester: his descendants for the next seven generations continued to live at the mansion.

Photo Dave Croker
More recently, after Penshurst suffered damage during the Second World War, a direct descendant, also named William Sidney, who later became 1st Viscount De L'Isle and the last English Governor-General of Australia, inherited and moved into Penshurst Place with his family in 1946 and brought the house and gardens back to their former glory. Today, Penshurst Place is one of the best preserved fortified manor houses in all of England. Set in the beautiful Weald of Kent, Penshurst place stands on the banks of the river Medway.
The house is evident of its occupation over its 670 year history. With beautiful rooms and galleries the house is filled with unique collections acquired by its occupants. The house boosts an array of royal portraits, armour and weapons, furniture, porcelain and toys left by generations of the Sidney family.

Part of the gardens at Penshurst Place
Photo Visit Kent
The gardens at Penshurst Place are considered to be one of the most beautiful in the whole of England, as well as the oldest as it dates back to 1346. The 11 acre walled garden is divided by a mile of yew hedging that creates a series of ‘rooms’ that possess its own season and colour.
Visitor Information
Penshurst Place is open daily, 10.30am to 6pm (or dusk if earlier). House and Toy Museum open 12noon to 4pm. Entry costs around £10 for adults, £7 children. Penshurst, nr Tonbridge, Kent, TN11 8DG. Tel: 01892 870307

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