Scotney Castle

BY CHARLES EVANS

Scotney Castle is an English country house with formal gardens south-east of Lamberhurst in the valley of the River Bewl in Kent, England. It belongs to the National Trust.

Scotney Castle is not one but two houses. At the top of the hill is the new house, designed by Anthony Salvin in Elizabethan style and built in 1837 for Edward Hussey III, who took the ‘picturesque’ style as his inspiration.

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Catholic Recusant owner Thomas Darrell hid Jesuit Father Richard Blount, S.J. in the castle while he ministered to Roman Catholics from 1591 to 1598. Catholicism was then illegal in England, and during the second raid by authorities to arrest the Father he fled over a wall into the moat and escaped.

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At the bottom of the valley are the romantic ruins of a medieval castle and moat. This is the focal point of the celebrated gardens featuring spectacular displays of rhododendrons, azaleas and kalmia in May/June with trees and shrubs providing autumnal colour.

The estate is open all year, offering a variety of walks through beautiful parkland, woodland and farmland.

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