VISIT WESTERHAM There are many fascinating historic houses to visit near The Design Gallery in Westerham, and the second 3000 sq.ft. Showroom and Warehouse in Edenbridge, Kent. Below we list some of the highlights. Do check with the properties before travelling as some are closed on certain days or for special events, and may not open from October to March. The Visit Westerham www.visitwesterham.org.uk website details gardens and other locations in the area.
KENT: Chartwell, home to Sir Winston Churchill and his family for over 40 years, is 5 minutes’ drive from the gallery. The National Trust property is decorated as it was in the 1930s and includes glorious gardens, Churchill’s art studio and the largest collection of his paintings. Advanced booking is recommended for weekends and bank holidays. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell
Quebec House in Westerham, was the birthplace of General James Wolfe who achieved victory over the French army in 1759 at Quebec. Like Sir Winston Churchill, there is a statue commemorating him on The Green. The National Trust property has a pretty garden, second hand bookshop and activities for children. The house is open by tour only and closed some days https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/quebec-house
The font in which Wolfe was baptised and a memorial window to him, “The Adoration of the Magi” by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, can be seen in the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Westerham.
Down House in Downe was the home of Charles and Emma Darwin. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/home-of-charles-darwin-down-house/
Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, boasts 700 years of history and 125 acres of glorious gardens. https://www.hevercastle.co.uk/
Eden Valley Museum, Edenbridge features the social history of West Kent and has the recently discovered “Chiddingstone Hoard” of 10 gold coins on permanent display. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and on some mornings. http://www.evmt.org.uk/
WEST SUSSEX: Standen in East Grinstead, is a beautiful Arts and Crafts house designed by Philip Webb, with interiors by Morris & Co., lighting by WAS Benson and William de Morgan ceramics. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/standen-house-and-garden
EAST SUSSEX: Charleston, West Firle, near Lewes: the home of the Bloomsbury group’s Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Closed Monday and Tuesdays (except Bank Holidays). https://www.charleston.org.uk/ You can combine Charleston with a visit to Virginia Woolf’s Monk’s House in Rodmell https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/monks-house and the Berwick Church murals http://www.berwickchurch.org.uk/bloomsbury%20at%20berwick%20home.html
Farley’s Farmhouse and Gallery, Chiddingly, near Lewes: the former home of American photographer Lee Miller and surrealist painter Roland Penrose. Open Sundays only until the end of October. https://www.farleyshouseandgallery.co.uk/
SURREY: Watts Gallery and Chapel, Compton, near Guildford: A remarkable Arts and Crafts Movement chapel, the gallery of Victorian painter/sculptor George Frederic Watts and Limnerlease, the home of Mary Watts and GF Watts. The Watts Gallery and Limnerlease are closed on Mondays (except Bank Holidays), the house requires pre-booked tour tickets. Mary Watts’ chapel incorporated early Christian art and Celtic symbolism, hand-crafted by the village residents. The gallery also shows paintings by their friends Evelyn De Morgan and ceramics by William De Morgan. https://www.wattsgallery.org.uk/
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