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Knole, East Sussex (also known as Knowle)


In the late-19th century the grounds were laid out in typical Victorian style, with a walled kitchen garden, conifers and shrubberies. Other features included a fountain and a possible Japanese garden.

Location, Area, Boundaries, Landform and Setting

The 1st edition Ordnance Survey map shows three parallel ranges of buildings with a 'fountain' running the whole width of the largest building. The grounds are laid out in Victorian style, with a walled kitchen garden, conifers and shrubberies.

Jill Wrighton of the Garden History Society mentioned a possible Japanese garden on a escarpment many years ago. The map shows a terrace south of the house running north to south, with a tank to its east and outbuildings to the west.

The current status of these gardens features is not known.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

13th Century

In 1296, Walter atte Knoll was a member of the jury which assessed the parish for Edward I's taxes.

19th Century

The house was sold in 1803 to Major General Alexander Beaton, who wrote about and practised new methods of agriculture at Knowle. He was the Governor of St. Helena from 1808 to 1813.

The antiquarian, Sheffield Grace owned Knowle House in the mid-19th-century.

20th Century

The gardens were further developed in the 1930s by Colonel and Mrs Benskin, who also added a new wing to the house.

Features & Designations


  • Kitchen Garden
  • Shrubbery
  • Fountain
  • Japanese garden
Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential



Open to the public


Civil Parish





  • Claire Ryley

  • Sussex Gardens Trust