Historic Gardens

Rochester Cathedral Precincts, Rochester

Picture of Rochester Cathedral Precincts Rochester Cathedral Precinct: Old Deanery Garden, King's Orchard and Cloister Garth, Rochester. The gardens have existed as part of the ecclesiastical complex since the C12. The Cloister Garth survives as an example of a typical Benedictine cloister garden and is open to the public. The old Deanery Garden was created by taking land from the King’s Orchard. The most famous dean was Samuel Hole, a keen rose-grower who promoted the first national rose show in 1858. Dean Hole wrote many books but his plantings of 135 rose species in the deanery garden do not survive. Part of the ancient King’s Orchard remains as a secluded, peaceful haven with s everal very old trees including a medlar. The old Deanery Garden and King’s Orchard are not normally open to the public but can be visited by arrangement.

Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst

Picture of Scotney Castle The ruined 14th century moated castle is the focal point of this romantic garden set within a 770 acre estate and managed by the National Trust. The garden is classically picturesque, with a quarry garden and natural features. Beautiful displays of rhododendron, azalea and kalmia can be seen in May and June, with trees and shrubs providing dazzling autumn colour.


Sissinghurst Castle, near Cranbrook

Picture of Sissinghurst Castle This iconic 9 acre garden lies nestled in the beautiful Weald of Kent countryside surrounded by 450 acres of ancient woodland and farmland. The gardens, the result of a close collaboration between the writer and gardener Vita Sackville-West and her husband, the diplomat Harold Nicolson, were largely created between 1930 and 1939. The formal structure of the garden is attributed to Harold who described the separate enclosures as a succession of intimacies, whilst Vita was responsible for the exuberant planting that still provides wonderful displays of colour throughout the year. Since 1967, Sissinghurst has been managed by the National Trust.