Lullingstone Castle

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Lullingstone Manor dates from 1497
Restored 16th Century gatehouse to Lullingstone Castle

Lullingstone Castle is an historic manor house, set in an estate in the village of Lullingstone and the civil parish of Eynsford in the English county of Kent. It has been inhabited by members of the Hart Dyke family for twenty generations including current owner Guy Hart Dyke.[1]


Mentioned in the Domesday Book, the present house was started in 1497. Henry VIII and Queen Anne were regular visitors to the Manor House.

The Tudor gatehouse, built by Sir John Peche, who became Sheriff of Kent in 1495, is believed to be one of the first in England entirely of brick.[2] What survives of the house is largely of the Queen Anne era.

Castle and gardens[edit]

The surrounding 120-acre (0.49 km2) park was previously a fenced deer park, with the castle serving as a hunting lodge. The grounds are located on the River Darent and hidden within are Queen Anne's bathhouse and an icehouse dating from the 18th century. Most of the grounds of the former estate now constitute Lullingstone Country Park.

It also contains some of the oldest oak trees in Britain, wildflowers, a church (St Botolph's) of Norman and possibly earlier foundation but much later restoration and rebuilding, and a walled garden, and used to contain Lullingstone Roman Villa.

The Castle was previously home to the Lullingstone Silk Farm [3] which produced silk for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation gown. In 2011, the Castle was the location for the advert 'Tough decision',[4] featuring meerkats Sergei and Aleksandr.

The walled garden - previously a herb garden designed by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde - has recently been converted into the World Garden of Plants by the Castle's current heir (and 20th generation of the Hart Dyke's), plant hunter Tom Hart Dyke. That conversion was the subject of the BBC2 series Save Lullingstone Castle. Tom Hart Dyke and the World Garden were again featured in Spring 2007 on the BBC2 series, Return to Lullingstone Castle.[5] The garden and the castle are open to the public from April through to September.[6]



  1. ^ "Lullingstone Castle and the World Garden-Visit Kent". Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  2. ^ "English Manor Houses-Lullingstone Castle". Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  3. ^ "Lullingstone Silk Farm". Retrieved 2013-09-19. 
  4. ^ "Meerkats move into Lullingstone". Retrieved 2013-09-19. 
  5. ^ "Return to Lullingstone Castle". Retrieved 2009-10-18. 
  6. ^ "Lullingstone Castle (Kent)". Retrieved 2009-10-18. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°21′31″N 0°11′45″E / 51.3585°N 0.1959°E / 51.3585; 0.1959