Chiddingstone Castle

The History of Chiddingstone Castle

LocationChiddingstone, Kent, England (Google Map)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned byDenys Eyre Bequest Trust
Official WebsiteChiddingstone Castle
Rooms AvailableYes (Wedding and Events)

Chiddingstone Castle is a historic house located in Chiddingstone, West Kent. It is known for its 400 years old history and unique Ancient Egyptian, Jacobite, Japanese, and Stuart collections. This Castle was built by the Streatfeild family and stayed with them from the 16th century to the beginning of the 20th century. Since 1977, the Castle and its 35 acres of land have been held in trust for the nation by Denys Eyre Bower Bequest. Now, the Chiddingstone castle is open to the public.

History

Chiddingstone Castle’s first structure was built in the early 16th century by Richard Streatfeild, who was a famous ironmaster and wool merchant. The initial Castle was a timber-framed dwelling. In 1679, Henry Streatfeild inherited the Castle and rebuilt it using red bricks following the Restoration style. It became popular as the High Street House. Until the 19th century, the Castle remained in the same structure.

 In the early 19th century, the family commissioned William Atkinson to rebuild the Chiddingstone castle in Gothic Style. However, the design was not completed. In 1835, Streatfeild’s son engaged Henry Kendal, an architect, to manage the remaining rebuilding work. At this time, the Castle, which was earlier known as the High Street House, was renamed, Chiddingstone Castle.

In 1938, the Streatfeild family sold the Castle to Lord Astor. During the Second World War, the Castle also hosted members of the Canadian Forces. In 1955, Denys Eyre Bower purchased the Castle to display his collections. However, 2 years later, he was convicted of attempting to murder his mistress and was sentenced to imprisonment. In 1962, he was released because it proved a miscarriage of justice. He returned to the Castle, which was being managed by Solicitor Ruth Eldridge and his sister Mary during his absence.

The Castle was open for visitors till 1977, the year Denys Eyre Bower died. He left the Chiddingstone castle and his exceptional collection to the nation. Since then, the Denys Eyre Bower Bequest Trust has taken care of the Castle and his collection and opened it to the public. It is famous for weddings, afternoon tea, and summer vintage fair.

Architecture

Chiddingstone Castle, by John K Thorne, is licensed under CC0 1.0

The Chiddingstone Castle you’ll see today is built using Red Stone and is a mixture of Restoration and Gothic Styles. It resembles a medieval castle with a touch of newness.

The stately rooms of the Castle include over 4,000 objects from Deny’s collection. The Victorian rooms are also open to the public, like Castle Kitchen, the Scullery, and Housekeeper’s Room, where you can experience 19th-century architecture. There is a new exhibition room on the first floor that includes items related to the Castle’s history.

The Castle garden is 35 acres big and includes a lake, woodland, courtyard rose garden, Victorian Orangery, and herbaceous borders. In 2014, a unique conceptual garden was also added to it with the Ancient Egyptian theme, allowing visitors to learn about life in 2000 BC.

The afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the Castle’s tea room. You can’t complete your Castle visit without it. So, search for hotels near the Castle and plan your visit to this beautiful Castle filled with vintage items.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chiddingstone castle a National Trust?

No. Chiddingstone castle is owned and managed by The Denys Eyre Bequest Trust, which is not a part of the National Trust. It is a member of the Historic Houses Association.

Where is Chiddingstone castle?

Chiddingstone Castle is located in the small village Chiddingstone in West Kent, England. It is about 35 miles away from South-Southeast London. You can find the castle on Google Maps and easily reach it via road.

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.
Also, don’t forget to mention your name and social media profile link if you want the credits!

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