Goodnestone Park Gardens
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Built around an historic 18th century country house with Jane Austen connections
Beyond the walled garden is a woodland area, with winding trails through a mix of shrubs and trees, colourful with azaleas, camellias, and hydrangeas in summer. Earlier in the year this area is a sparkling with snowdrops, hellebores, and witch hazel.
Beside the house are formal terraces and parterres defined by box hedges and gravel paths. The parterre looks over the village cricket pitch, while steps lead up to a lime walk and yew hedges. The lime avenue leads to an arboretum, with numerous specimen trees. And speaking of trees, look for an ancient Cedar of Lebanon, which dates to the early 18th century. Other interesting tree varieties include the largest southern beech in the UK and examples of tulip trees and copper beech.
The history of Goodnestone House goes back to at least the Tudor period when Sir Thomas Engeham had a manor house here. Later Engehams sold the property to the Bridges family, and in 1704 Sir Brook Bridges, 1st Baronet, built a new house in classical style. Soon after the house was built a large garden was laid out to a design by William Harris. Towards the end of the 18th century, these gardens were swept away by the 3rd Baronet in favour of a landscape park in the style then popular amongst country house owners.
The 3rd Baronet's daughter Elizabeth married Edward Austen, brother of novelist Jane Austen. Jane visited her brother and sister-in-law at Goodnestone House several times, and it was during a visit here in 1796 that she began writing 'Pride and Prejudice'. The 5th Baronet altered the house facade and added a series of formal terraced lawns.
Though these historic beginnings helped lay the overall design of the gardens, it was not until the 1960s that work began in earnest to transform the landscape surrounding the house into what has been called one of Britain's finest gardens.
About Goodnestone Park Gardens
Address: Goodnestone Park, Goodnestone, Canterbury, Kent, England, CT3 1PL
Attraction Type: Garden
Location: 1.5 miles east on a minor road off the B2046 and A2
Website: Goodnestone Park Gardens
Historic Houses Association
Photo Credit: Nick Smith, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Goodnestone, St Bartholomew's Church - 0 miles (Historic Church)
Mount Ephraim Gardens - 1.7 miles (Garden)
Faversham, St Mary of Charity Church - 1.7 miles (Historic Church)
Maison Dieu - 1.9 miles (Historic Building)
Chart Gunpowder Mills - 1.9 miles (Museum)
Faversham Stone Chapel - 3.3 miles (Historic Building)
Luddenham, St Mary's Church - 3.5 miles (Historic Church)
Belmont House - 4.7 miles (Historic House)
Nearest Holiday Cottages to Goodnestone Park Gardens: