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(The magnificent garden of Vita Sackville-West)

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General Details

Sissinghurst lies just off the main A229 Hawkhurst to Maidstone road.

The village is a pretty Kent village with many old houses. Its main claim to fame is Sissinghurst Castle , not a real fortified castle with moat , but a very large house built in the early 1500's by Sir Richard Baker.

The Castle has had a very mixed history, with Bloody Sir John Baker the local magistrate enthusiastically burning protestants at the stake during the reign of Queen Mary .

It has been visited by Royalty with Queen Mary and Elizabeth the First visiting.

The Seven Years War made the property into a prisoner of war camp, during which time it was badly damaged by the prisoners.

In the 1820's the castle was turned into the workhouse for the poor in the Parish of Cranbrook , then in the 1870's it was turned into lodgings for local farm workers.

During the 1930's the property was bought by Vita Sackville West an author, who transformed the gardens into the attractions that today the Castle is known for.

Vita Sackville-West died in 1962 ( buried at Withyham ) her husband in 1968, and the Castle was taken over by the National Trust , and its magnificent gardens are now open to the public during spring summer and autumn.


The village is small with a few local shops, the nearest small town is Cranbrook about 3 miles away, and Tenterden about 5 miles.

The main shopping centre at Maidstone is about 10 miles to the north.

The nearest trains are from Staplehurst about 5 miles north, providing a regular service to London and Dover.


Sissinghurst village is a very pretty Kent village and the high street is very attractive.

Sissinghurst Castle is a magnificent elizabethan manor house, whose garden was transformed in the 1930's into the most gorgeous garden in Kent by Vita Sackville-West , this is a garden not to be missed.

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