Roydon Hall 2873

Nettlestead, England, Kent, Tonbridge and Malling

Brief Description

Roydon Hall has an Elizabethan manor house with walled gardens which date from the early- to mid-16th century. A rose garden and an orchard were added in 1991.

Detailed Description

The walled garden to the east of the house is now an overgrown wild meadow with daffodils and fruit trees. Remains of box hedges can be seen and there is a cedar tree and a magnolia. The glasshouses are now gone. The walls are of very fine brickwork (referred to in Newman's ‘Buildings of England', see reference).

An escape route runs below the cellars and two Tudor towers. Some Elizabethan silver was discovered here. A Henry VIII clock is on the second tower. This was restored 100 years ago, but again is in disrepair with the brickwork of the tower crumbling. Bee garths are on the lower wall of the walled garden, but are unused. There are terraces with shrub and herb borders below this wall. Grass terraces lead down to the house, and a walled courtyard is around the 16th-century brick entrance.

Recently (1991) much new planting has taken place. There are two new areas of trees to the north-west and south-west of house, a rose garden directly east of the house, and an orchard, further eastwards. Water for the garden comes from a spring, again in one of the easterly garden compartments.

Features
  • Manor House (featured building)
  • Latest Date:
  • Planting
  • Description: The walled garden to the east of the house is now an overgrown wild meadow with daffodils and fruit trees. Remains of box hedges can be seen and there is a cedar tree and a magnolia.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: Cedar tree in the walled garden.
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: Magnolia tree in the walled garden.
  • Tunnel
  • Description: An escape route runs below the cellars and two Tudor towers. Some Elizabethan silver was discovered here.
  • Tower
  • Description: There are two Tudor towers.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Access & Directions

Directions

The site is 1? miles south south-east of Meneworth village near Maidstone.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Wateringbury
History

Detailed History

The site has an Elizabethan manor house which, in 1535, became the home of Thomas Roydon. It was at this time that the name changed from Fortune to Roydon Hall, and the walled gardens, fortified towers and terraces were created.

Originally the pleasure gardens were surrounded on three sides by forest and the famous Roydon oaks were taken by the navy of Elizabeth I. It is near the main road from London (Seven Mile Lane, the B2016).

Period

  • Tudor (1485-1603)
References

References