Originally an Archbishop’s Palace and set in a medieval deer park, Knole is one of the largest houses in England.
In 1538 it was taken from Archbishop Thomas Cranmer by King Henry VIII and, during the reign of his daughter Elizabeth I, it passed into the hands of the noble Sackville family whose descendants – who included the writer Vita Sackville-West (see below) – still live there today.
The show rooms contain art works by, among others, Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Reynolds and these, together with 17th century tapestries and furniture, make the collection internationally significant.
The garden at Sissinghurst was created in the 1930s by the poet and gardening writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, the author and diplomat.
Had she been born a boy, Vita – the only child of the 3rd Lord Sackville -, would have inherited Knole, for which Sissinghurst became a poignant substitute.
The gardens, overlooked by a fairytale tower, are designed as a series of “rooms”, each with its own colour scheme or theme, where the herbaceous borders are the epitome of the English style. They are divided one from another by high, clipped hedges and pink brick walls.
``What a perfect, custom tour! My brother and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour to Windsor Castle and the Downton Abbey sites with Glyn. Glyn was extremely knowledgable and was able to nicely guide us through the exhibitions and sites. He also took us to a delicious pub for lunch! By the end of the tour, we felt like we had known Glyn for years. I highly, highly recommend Glyn for any of your touring needs!``