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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Isle of Sheppey Churches and Ightham Mote

Someone who I know is visiting the same churches as me sent me an email that he was closing on 800. This spurred me on to think about FINALLY completing Kent. I have 3 to visit and an email from the parish office at the Isle of Sheppey told me that the two I need on Sheppey were open today so off I set.

834 Holy Trinity, Queenborough

I had spotted this chap when I entered.

Ah how old friend St Francis of Assisi.....

and off up the road to

835 St Mary and St Sexburga, Minster-in-Sheppey

I could have headed deeper into Kent for the last one but I have plans for that next weekend so I headed to Ightham Mote for lunch....

In May 1939 the travel writer HV Morton wrote:

I was boasting to a man at Sevenoaks that I had seen most of Kent's finest houses: Chevening, Penshurts, Hever and Knole.

"But you haven't seen Ightham Mote?" he asked. "You can't be in Kent and fail to see Ightham Mote. If you don't see it, you'll always regret it!"

The house dates to the 1320's and is a lovely moated manor house. The first view as you pass through the visitors centre is glorious..

The house was the subject of extensive renovation by the National Trust since its acquisition in 1989 (£10 million+ according to Wikipedia), The programme ended in 2004. It was also the subject of a Time Team special - and the trust will happily sell you a copy.

The house though was open long before the Trust acquired it.  Morton visited in 1939 when the house was opened on Friday afternoons and found "quite a small number crowd" waiting.

In 1953 was purchased by the American Charles Henry Robinson who made many urgent repairs and left it to the Trust.

I actually wrote all that a year ago but if I can't plagiarise myself.....

Today I didn't wander around the house but went for a wander around the gardens that were looking rather lovely.

The finest dog house in the trust's possession?

A lovely start to the weekend!