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Sissinghurst Castle

Sissinghurst is an ancient site. A stone manor house surrounded by a moat was built here in the Middle Ages. In the reign of Elizabeth I it was replaced by a splendid mansion built by the Baker family, who subsequently lost their fortune in the Civil War. Sissinghurst gradually fell into a ruinous state with the condition of the buildings so derelict that parts had to be demolished. Such were the conditions when Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson bought the estate in 1930. They embarked upon a project to restore the house and to design the now famous gardens which are laid out as a series of themed ‘outdoor rooms’. The most distinctive architectural feature of Sissinghurst is the 4-storey red-brick Elizabethan tower with capped octagonal turrets where Sackville-West kept her study and wrote her books.

Visitor Information

Address:
Biddenden Road,
near Cranbrook,
Kent,
England,
TN17 2AB

Telephone: 01580 710700

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle

Accredited Museum

Sissinghurst Castle, Kent (Accredited Museum)

This collection has 12,835 items online

The collection at Sissinghurst reflects the aesthetic and artistic tastes of the writers and gardeners Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962) and Harold Nicolson (1886-1968) who were responsible for the reclamation of the ruin in the 1930s. It houses the couple's extensive working libraries, numbering nearly 11,000 books, making it the third largest library in the care of the National Trust. The books are mostly contemporary to Vita and Harold, reflecting their personal tastes. There are numerous twentieth-century first editions, annotated books and review copies. The collection also includes a varied and mixed collection of Italian, French and early English furniture, early Persian ceramics and glassware, and portraits.

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