Historic Gardens

Eastgate House, Rochester

Picture of Eastgate House The formal gardens behind Eastgate House (a grade I listed sixteenth century townhouse in Rochester) were designed by Sir (Edward) Guy Dawber in the Arts and Crafts style of an early twentieth century garden. Dawber’s garden walls, a garden house, a shelter, York-stone paving and terracing have survived. Eastgate House featured in Charles Dickens novels, as Westgate in ”The Pickwick Papers” and as the Nun’s House in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”. Dickens’ Swiss-style chalet that he used for writing at his home in Gad’s Hill, Higham, has been relocated to the garden at Eastgate House.


Emmetts Garden, Ide Hill

Picture of Emmetts Garden Emmetts Garden is a late 19th century plantsman's garden influenced by the gardener and journalist William Robinson (1838-1935), and is now managed by the National Trust. The garden contains many unusual trees and shrubs, rose and rock gardens. Magnificent displays of flowers and shrubs can be seen in spring. The garden lies near the highest point in Kent and there are wonderful views between the informal planting.


Godinton House, Ashford

Picture of Godinton House Godinton house and gardens are set in a beautiful 18th century landscaped park with views across the countryside to Great Chart church to the south. The gardens were designed by the architect Reginald Blomfield at the turn of the 20th century and include terraced lawns, topiary, formal pond and rose garden all surrounded by a vast yew hedge and ornamented with impressive statuary. In contrast to Robinson and Jekyll's natural planting principles, Blomfield created a strict distinction between garden and countryside bringing ‘house and garden into harmony, to make the house grow out of its surroundings’. The additions of herbaceous borders and tree planting by subsequent owners have modified and softened the original design. A small walled Italian garden with central fountain and scented mediterranean planting looks out over the wild garden. The 18th century walled kitchen garden contains delphinium borders, potager planting, ornamental, alpine and fern houses.