Exploring the most Picturesque & Historic parts of England
This 14th century moated manor house, set in a hollow and partly surrounded by woods, serves as a powerful reminder of the past. Its name is nothing to do with its moat, but comes from "moot" the old term for local council, which was held here in medieval times.
The house shows a wonderful mixture of styles, it has glorious timber-framing, red-tile roofs and mellow, creamy stone. The stone parts of the house are the earliest, the timber-framing and brick probably date from around the 16th century.
A bridge spans the moat taking visitors towards an attractive cobbled courtyard, here you can see oak bargeboards carved with the emblems of England, France and Granada. This was a deliberate ploy by the owner of Ightham, Sir Richard Clement, great courtier to Henry VIII, who was anxious to display his allegiance to the Tudor throne. The courtyard is where you can see the oldest part of the house, a stone hall of about 1340. This has its original doorway and an oriel window showing the rose of England and the Pomegranate, emblem of Queen Catherine. The interior of the hall is fascinating, it has a timbered roof with corbels carved in the form of crouching figures, and is lit by a small two light window of the 14th century.
The Tudor chapel is truly outstanding, its early interior has a barrel roof with superb painted decoration in the Tudor colours. There is fine woodwork to the sanctuary, pulpit, pews, and a magnificent intricately carved screen, the windows are 16th century stained glass.
The other rooms show a mixture of decorative styles from the Jacobean, through the 17th century, to the Victorian. These all perfectly depict the long ownership of the Selby family who owned the house from 1598 to 1889. Perhaps the most attractive room is the Drawing room with its vivid hand painted 19th century Chinese wallpaper making a startling contrast to the Jacobean fireplace, painted black and gold.
Since the Selby's the house has had various occupants, finally it was purchased in the 20th century by a Mr. Robinson, who fell in love with it, repaired and restored it. The house is now in the hands of the National Trust, all its furniture and original contents were sold, and what is there now has been replaced since the 1950's. Tastefully chosen, these "newer" pieces do nothing to detract from the overall attractiveness of the place.
The peaceful gardens surrounding the house perfectly reflect the influence of the 19th century William and Morris arts and crafts movement. There are lakes and an abundance of woodland where you can experience tranquil walks amongst lovely plants and wild flowers.
Various events are held throughout the year, there is a cafe for refreshments, a shop for souvenirs, lovely outdoor spots for "al-fresco" eating and paths for cycling.
Please upload your photos of Ightham Mote or see below for towns & villages near Ightham Mote and a list of other nearby attractions to visit.
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