Ightham Moat is located in Ivy Hatch, Kent, United Kingdom. About 9,5 kilometers north of Tonbridge.
The manor house was built 700 years ago. By whom nobody knows. It is the largest Medieval moated house in Britain.
Over the centuries squires, MP’s, sheriffs and courtiers have resided here. The last private owner was an American who fell in love with it while he was stationed nearby during the Second World War. After his death he donated the house to the National Trust.
There is not much left of the original fourteenth century building. The current manor dates from the fifteenth and sixteenth century.
In 1985, the National Trust inherited a house in decay. Renovations started in 1989 and in 2003 the manor opened to the public. BBC and Channel Four filmed two documentaries about the conservation of Ightham Mote: “Magnificent Monuments” (2000) and an episode of “Time Team” (2003.
The manor consists of at least 70 rooms built around a central courtyard. A moat surrounds the entire building.
A lot of the household items were sold during an action in the 1950s. The National Trust has succeeded in getting some of them back. Other items were found during the renovation. They all are exhibited throughout the house.
As all other estates in Kent, Ightham Mote has a large garden. It consists of a formal lawn, a flower garden, a secret garden, an orchard, a stable courtyard, woodland, farmland and pleasure grounds.
The estate covers 876 acres.
If you like hiking, you can follow one of the three waymarked routes, the long-distance route “the Greensand Way” or map out your own route.
To consult a map of the estate, please follow this link: Ightam Mote map
Visiting Ightham Mote
The café, the exhibition, the gardens and the shop are open daily from 10.00 to 17.00.
The house opens daily from 11.00 until 17.00. In November and December only the ground floor is open to the public. In January and February the house is closed
You can visit the estate from dawn to dusk, but in winter some parts may be closed off.
An adult pays an admission fee of £11.00, a child £5.50. The car park costs £2. Members of the National Trust don’t pay an admission or parking fee.
I adored visiting Ightham Mote. The castle is beautifully renovated. Photographing is allowed everywhere in the castle.
The estate is a perfect destination for a day trip. It offers something for every member of the family: You can visit the castle, go hiking on the estate and the children will definitely enjoy themselves on the playground. You are allowed to bring a picnic. Picnic benches are available near the car park and at the north end of the garden.
Do you like visiting historic buildings? Can you recommend any?
I used these two websites to prepare for my visit:
For more photos of Ightham Mote, please follow this link.
Disclaimer: I own the copyright to all photos in this post.