Sissinghurst Castle Gardens
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 a family who shared their name with the place; the de Saxingherstes. Nothing remains today of the original house 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, 37 fireplaces and tower at its centre. Leased to the government during the Seven Years War (1756–1763), Sissinghurst was used as a prison camp for 3000 captured French sailors who largely destroyed the house. It is from this period that Sissinghurst became known as Chateau de Sissingherst or Sissinghurst Castle. In 1796 the Parish of Cranbrook 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.
National Trust property, gardens, moat, exhibitions, coffee shop, café and restaurant serving delicious cakes and meals, plant shop, gift shop. Pick up an exploring pack from the visitor reception. Spend an hour, or three, or all day at Sissinghurst Castle Garden and Estate.
Dogs are not permitted in the garden however they are allowed on the walks around the estate, dogs must be on leads at all times (we are a working farm!).
Only 8 miles from Tenterden