Court Lodge, West Farleigh 951

West Farleigh, England, Kent, Maidstone

Brief Description

Court Lodge has an 18th-century garden of 10 hectares (24 acres), associated with a country house of the same period. A Victorian garden was laid out during the 19th century. An area of associated parkland was sold during the 1940s and is now used for the cultivation of soft and hard fruit.

History

The present house dates from approximately 1780, with parkland planting from previous habitations.

Detailed Description

There is a semi-circular drive extending to either side of the main avenue. This is an avenue of limes and, until 1976, elms. Enclosed by this drive and a stone wall along the road is a small area of parkland with sheep, horses and cattle. Nearer the house are many ornamental trees, including a mature tulip tree, a copper beech and a mulberry.

A print dating from the early-19th century shows iron park railings surrounding the house and no garden, just parkland. There was also an ornamental lake directly to the east of the house.

Features
  • House (featured building)
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Tree Avenue
  • Description: An avenue of sweet chestnuts extends directly from the front of the house to the south-east of the road.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Drive
  • Description: There is a semi-circular drive extending to either side of the main avenue.
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: Nearer the house are many ornamental trees, including a mature tulip tree, a copper beech and a mulberry.
Access & Directions

Directions

The site is ? mile north-east of the village of West Farleigh on the B2010 adjacent to the church. It lies 3? miles south-west of Maidstone.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • West Farleigh
History

Detailed History

This is the third house on this site. The present house dates from approximately 1780. An avenue of sweet chestnuts extends directly from the front of the house to the south-east of the road. The trees are about 250 years old (therefore, date from period of previous house on site). The 1987 storm damage affected some of these sweet chestnuts, and 3 large limes, 2 walnut trees, an oak and a horse chestnut.

Later in the 19th century a typical Victorian garden was created and maintained by five gardeners. Remnants of this are the wild walkways around the lake and the formal pattern of rose beds between the house and the lake, now laid to lawn. Behind the house and stable block is a farm complex (now separated from main house ownership) and two walled gardens. Down towards the river is an area which was supposedly the site of a medieval garden.

The former area of parkland out to the west was sold off in the late-1940s and early-195Os. It is now given over to the growing of soft and hard fruit, but parkland trees remain, protected by Tree Preservation Orders. This area is owned by Barham Court, Teston, on the opposite side of the river.

References

References

  • Kent County Council Planning Department {The Kent Gardens Compendium} (Canterbury: Kent County Council, 1996) 40The Kent Gardens Compendium