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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:
Dodddington Place is an imposing Victorian mansion set within 10 acres of 18th century parkland with many fine trees. There are notable areas of woodland containing a variety of rhododendrons and azaleas, an Edwardian rock garden under restoration, a sunken garden with herbaceous borders, and a flint and brick folly.
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.