Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A Spring Day at the National Trust's Scotney Castle

It really feels as Spring has arrived with the warmer weather.
We went with our son and granddaughter down to the National Trust estate at Scotney Castle. It was extremely busy – everybody having the same idea as us!
We had come here last summer as well - see link to blog page 2013.

This house and grounds are steeped in history over many centuries from the original 14th Century moated castle – constructed as a fortified house to resist the feared French raids, to the 1835 building of a 'new' house on top of the hill.

The old castle was apparently lived in by an estate worker until 1905, whilst the eastern range was partially 'architecturally' dismantled in1843 to look like a ruin – seen from the windows of the new house.

Old Elizabethan Castle and part of the living quarters – looking across the moat
It is thought that the original plan would have been for a rectangular fortification with towers on each corner (perhaps similar to Bodiam Castle?) – though it seems only one tower was built?

The later castle was completed in 1843 and built out of sandstone quarried from the hill edge – now a quarry garden! The last owner, Christopher Hussey left the estate to the National Trust in 1970 with the stipulation that is wife may live there. When she died in 2006, the house was opened up a year later – just as Elizabeth Hussey had left it. It was welcoming and homely.

Rear elevation from the garden. Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister, had an apartment here in the 1970's and 80's.
Front entrance
Coat of Arms – carved in stone. The family motto 'Vix ea nostra vocco' is quite apt meaning 'I scarcely call these things our own' – given they were given to the Trust.
Family enjoying the day's visit

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