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Kentchurch Court

Visited September 2019

Location Kentchurch, Herefordshire
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby No
Parking Yes 
Facilities Toilets, Cafe
Map

 

One of the most fascinating things about Kentchurch Court in Herfordshire is that it has been owned by the same family for 1,000 years, which is an impressive family tree by anyone's standard! The first Scudamore named Ralph was a stonemason and he came over from Normandy in 1042 and built a castle for Edward the Confessor at nearby Ewyas Harold.

 


 

 


Review

 

The family first lived in a location at the bottom of the current drive, finally building Kentchurch Court in the 14th century, using stone from their previous home. Owain Glyndower, the last Welsh Prince of Wales, is reputed to have taken refuge in the tower, the oldest part of the building, on suffering defeat at the hands of the English. His daughter Alice had married into the Scudamore family.

 

Kentchurch is made up of the 14th century crenellated tower, with later additions which make up one large and grand dwelling.  The tower has a garderobe chute and very different stonework to the rest of the building, marking it out as the older section of the court. The crenellation on the tower is probably all for show rather than genuine defence, but it might have deterred attacks in what was once an unruly border area between England and Wales.

 


 

 


 

The current Scudamore custodians of Kentchurch open the property to the public on certain days of the year (check the website for exact dates). The garden has an honesty system, as you enter you put the entrance fee into the honesty box- the tea room and plant sales operate in the same way. It certainly takes some getting used to in the case of the tea room- you serve yourself and leave the money. I was just finishing making our hot drinks behind the counter when another visitor came in and gave me her order. She was rather embarrassed when I told her that I did not work there and that it was self service!

 


 

 


 

The gardens are a delight, and very varied, as there are different sections including formal lawns, a walled garden, a vegetable patch, and a rhododendron woodland walk. There is also a large deer park, which was established in the medieval times, and although this is off limits to the public, the deer often come close enough to be observed from the garden.

 

Children are welcome in the garden and will love exploring the different areas and discovering the different paths which criss-cross the flower and vegetable beds. As mentioned there are self service tea rooms, and some very posh toilets on site.

 


 

 


 

More info:  Kentchurch Court

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