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Sir Dudley Digges completed the building we see today in 1616 on the site of a pre-existing Norman castle. He introduced the spectacular terracing that is a key feature of the garden today. In the middle of 18thC the then owner Thomas Heron enlarged the park and redesigned the grounds with the help of Capability Brown whose main legacy is a ha-ha that allowed the parkland and views to the Stour valley to be seen from the house without interruption. The gardens were further developed in the 19thC by the then owner Charles Stewart Hardy who created a lake, and arranged for the planting of thousands of trees.
Cobham Hall is a grand 17th century country house that is now an independent boarding and day school for girls. It lies within 150 acres of magnificent Grade II* registered parkland designed by the landscape gardener, Humphry Repton (1752-1818). He worked there for twenty years from 1790. The parkland has undergone restoration and shows how Repton introduced subtle details and views, contrasting with the grand panoramas of his contemporary, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. There is a range of listed garden structures, including the Grade II ‘Repton's Seat’ and later garden additions, including 20th century formal features by the designer William Goldring.
Court Lodge’s landscape comprises historic, designed gardens, pleasure grounds and parkland which have evolved and expanded since the mid-18th century under successive generations of one family. A former Manor house (listed grade II) which is of 13th century origins, rebuilt and enlarged during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The gardens and parkland were extended in the 19th century when two interconnected walled kitchen gardens were built. The pleasure grounds were extended with ornamental planting and a surviving rockery which evidence suggests was built by nationally known Pulham and Sons. A 9-hole golf course was laid out in the late 19th century in the parkland, one of the earliest in Kent. Siegfried Sassoon was a frequent golfer in the 1920s and more recently Dennis Thatcher when he and his wife, Margaret Thatcher, maintained a flat in the house in the 1970s. Research report: