Site is open to the public. Opening may be limited, please check Visitor Information for any restrictions.


Brief description of site

Emmetts Garden is a late-19th century to early-20th century 'wild garden' of 2 hectares (4.9 acres). It is set in a larger estate of wood and farmland of 40 hectares (98 acres). The garden consists mainly of trees and shrubs.

Brief history of site

The house was built in 1860 and the gardens were laid out at around the same time. Under successive ownerships, the gardens were developed. Frederic Lubbock bought the site in 1890, and planted an informal collection of rare shrubs and trees. After hia death in 1927, the site was bought by Charles Watson Boise, who continued to development of the gardens. He built the rock garden, camelia garden and began the bluebell dell.

Location information:

Address: Ide Hill, TN14 6AY

Locality: Sevenoaks

Local Authorities:

Kent; Sevenoaks; Brasted

Historical County: Kent

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 188 Grid Ref: TQ477525
Latitude: 51.2525 Longitude: 0.115069


The site is 6 miles south-west of Sevenoaks, off the B2042 Sundridge-Ide Hill Road, and 1.5 miles south of A25. Please see:

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

The site is open between March and November, though opening days vary. Please see:

Key information:

Form of site: garden

Purpose of site: ornamental garden

Context or principal building: house

Plant type/environment: wild garden

Site first created: After 1860

Main period of development: Late 19th century

Survival: Part: standing remains

Site Size (Hectares): 42


The 19th-century house overlooks a ‘plantsman'-type garden of unusual shrubs and trees, many of which date from the 19th century although regular additions are included.

The soils are an acidic loam and consequently many ericaceous shrubs, including numerous rhododendron and azalea species, thrive here. The siting of the gardens on top of a hill gives marvellous panoramic views, but unfortunately also meant that the grounds were devastated in the 1987 storm. The trees around the house were all blown down, with the exception of one large wellingtonia. However, most of the shrubs have survived, and still represent a marvellous collection. Included are species of magnolia, cornus, eucryphia, pieris, camellia and acers to name a few genera. Grass paths interweave between the specimens to allow close inspection.

Recent new additions are a formal rose garden, and a rockery with winding path leading down to a pool.

Owner: The National Trust

Heelis, Kemble Drive, Swindon

Site designation(s)

The National Heritage List for England: Register of Parks and Gardens Grade II Reference GD412

Principal building:

Villa Created 1860

External web site link:


Site timeline

1964: The site was bequeathed to the National Trust.

1987: The garden was devastated by the 1987 storm.




rose garden

Feature created: 1910

Formal design.


Organisations associated with this site

Kent Gardens Trust

Historic England Role: Designating Authority

The National Trust Role: Owner

Sources of information

Emmetts: Conservation Statement

Wheeler, Richard Emmetts: Conservation Statement (2009)

The Gardens of Britain 4: Kent, East & West Sussex and Surrey

Wright, Tom The Gardens of Britain 4: Kent, East & West Sussex and Surrey(London: Batsford, 1978)

The Kent Gardens Compendium

Kent County Council Planning Department The Kent Gardens Compendium (Canterbury: Kent County Council, 1996) 51

Contributor or Recorder Kent Gardens Trust


  • Emmetts Garden, Kent. Rhododendrons.

    Emmetts Garden, Kent. Rhododendrons.