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(The magnificent garden of Vita Sackville-West)
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
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
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
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.