Charter Day brought 31 Livery and Guests to The Master’s home turf, the delightful Penshurst Place, the home of the same family for five centuries.
The current owner is Viscount De L’Isle who lives in part of the property with his family.
The buildings date from 1341 and over the centuries various extensions and alterations have taken place, but the delight of the property is that the architecture of all the different centuries still remains in place.
The original builder was Sir John de Pultney and between 1341 and 1552 the Dukes of Bedford, Gloucester & Buckingham all owned the property at different periods until in 1552, when King Edward VI granted Penshurst to Sir William Sidney. Members of the Sidney family have been custodians of Penshurst Place ever since.
In the morning we were led by an excellent guide through the various Towers and Halls which make up the property. We viewed many fine paintings, tapestries, magnificent porcelain & table settings and period furniture which adorn Penshurst Place. We travelled through the different centuries as we moved from one part to another, each reflecting the architecture and interiors of the period. There were various examples of arms and armour of many centuries reflecting the history of the Sidney family through the years.
After a splendid Luncheon in the Garden Restaurant our guide then escorted us around the fantastic gardens. These including the Italian Garden, the Rose and Heraldic Gardens, the Orchard and eventually the Flag Garden, which is laid out to replicate the Union Flag in Red, White & Blue segments. All truly beautiful and including many fountains and statues. The porcupine, which forms part of the Penshurst/Sidney family heraldic badge, was to be found in many guises in these gardens, including a peculiarly fine topiary example.
The gardens and grounds date from the original construction of the house and have not been redesigned, as some many grand houses were by Capability Brown and his followers.
The total area covered by gardens and grounds is over 11 acres within walled and yew hedged sections and open woodland.
All present agreed that Penshurst Place is truly delightful and worthy of a further visit to enjoy its splendours.