Knole House in Sevenoaks, Kent is an historic country house, set in the surrounding 1,000 acre Knowle Park. Knole House dates back to the late 15th century.
Knole House is one of the largest houses in Britain and is believed to have once been a so-called
"calendar house" - a residence having 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and seven courtyards.
Knole House was constructed during the Tudor and Stuart periods of English history from the 15th to 16th centuries. The house was begun as a palace by an Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Bourchier in 1456, on the site of an earlier residence. It passed briefly into the possession of Henry VIII until the Sackville family, cousins of Queen Elizabeth I, became the owners. Descendants of the Sackville family continue to live in parts of the house to the present day. Knowle House and its vast deer park is also supported by the National Trust, which restores and preserves the structure as well as organizes a variety of events, both cultural and sporting, to attract the paying public.
Knowle House is a treasure chest of historic paintings and furniture. Its walls are lined by portraits by such greats as Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, and Van Dyck. The interior boats a superb Italian staircase, several Tudor and Stuart fireplaces and England's oldest organ.
The house has numerous literary connections. The writer Vita Sackville-West wrote on the house in her Knole and the Sackvilles (1922) and her lover Virginia Woolf draws on Knowle and its inhabitants as a source of inspiration for her novel Orlando (1928).
Knowle has also appeared as a backdrop for a Beatles video and in several films including A Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Knowle (National Trust)
Kent, TN15 0RP
(Sat Nav TN13 1HU)
The nearest station is Seveonoaks, one and a half miles away. Sevenoaks bus station is nearer. The Vintage Bus runs out to Knowle on select days between March and September.
Check the National Trust website for comprehensive opening times. The showrooms close over the winter until March but Knowle Park is open throughout the year.
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