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Brief description of site

Penns-in-the-Rocks is a 20th-century formal gardens of about 2.5 hectares developed around natural rock formations, set within wooded parkland occupying a further 23 hectares. The site is occasionally open under the National Gardens Scheme.

Brief history of site

Penns in the Rocks was acquired by William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, on his marriage in 1672. The site was sold to Steven Beeching in the early 1830s. He extended and enlarged the house, then sold it to the Rhys Pryce family, who laid out some of the structure of the present garden in the mid-19th century. It became the home of the poetess, Dorothy Wellesley in 1925. She made a number of additions to the garden. The site was further developed, with advice from Lanning Roper, by Lord and Lady Gibson in 1956.

Location information:

Address: Penns-in-the-Rocks, Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, East Sussex, TN3 9PA

Locality: Royal Tunbridge Wells

Local Authorities:

East Sussex; Wealden; Withyham

Historical County: Sussex

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 188 Grid Ref: TQ521346
Latitude: 51.0905 Longitude: 0.170503

Key information:

Form of site: rock garden

Purpose of site: ornamental garden

Context or principal building: house

Site first created: 1925 to 1953

Main period of development: 20th century

Survival: Extant

Site Size (Hectares): 26

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