Gore Court, Otham 1481

Maidstone, England, Kent, Maidstone

Brief Description

Gore Court has 16 hectares (39 acres) of ancient parkland which has now been returned to arable use.

Detailed Description

Very little remains of the ornamental gardens that were previously so extensive. However, a 300 year old cedar and the largest tulip tree in southern England remain as specimens in front of the Victorian wilderness, to the south of the house. This was once extremely ornamental with flowering shrubs, especially azaleas, and was riddled with water channels, pools and rustic bridges. These features are today impossible to discern. There has been extensive 1987 storm with little repair at the time of the last survey.

Extending formally to the south of the house is a double line of large dome-shaped ancient yews. Beyond these yews to the west, is the remains of a ha-ha separating the garden area from the park.

To the front of the house is a croquet lawn and to the side is a small, attractive, but fairly plain courtyard garden. The house has had a chequered history, being used as a nursing home, an aeroplane factory and more recently, a school.

Features
  • Kitchen Garden
  • Description: There are two large walled kitchen gardens behind the house.
  • Glasshouse
  • Description: Associated with the kitchen gardens is a series of glasshouses along the south-facing wall.
  • Stable Block
  • Description: Between the house and the walled gardens are stables, laundry and cow sheds surrounding a yard.
  • Shed
  • Description: Between the house and the walled gardens are stables, laundry and cow sheds surrounding a yard.
  • Wilderness
  • Description: The wilderness is to the south of the house.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: A 300 year old cedar and the largest tulip tree in southern England remain as specimens in front of the Victorian wilderness, to the south of the house.
  • Tree Avenue
  • Description: Extending formally to the south of the house is a double line of large dome-shaped ancient yews.
  • Planting
  • Description: Courtyard garden.
Ha-ha, Croquet Lawn
Access & Directions

Directions

The site is 2 miles south-east of Maidstone centre, ? mile north of the A274 to the west of the village of Otham.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Otham
History

Detailed History

This is the site of a medieval building. Its ancient parkland is now largely arable. A private golf course is around the periphery of the estate. Lanes marking the boundary are marked by a ditch lined on one side by old hedgerows and on the other by a line of beeches, oaks and elms. The northern boundary, with a footpath along it, is marked by coppiced hornbeams.

There is a large timber-framed house, much altered throughout the centuries. The extensive Victorian gardens were maintained by ten gardeners until the 1930s. There are two large walled kitchen gardens behind the house. Associated with these is a series of glasshouses along the south-facing wall. The original boilers remain below these. Between the house and the walled gardens are stables, laundry and cow sheds surrounding a yard.

Period

  • Medieval (1066-1540)
References

References