Torry Hill Park 3279

Maidstone, England, Kent, Maidstone

Brief Description

The gardens mainly date to the mid-19th century, including several walled gardens which are still in use. The site features a rose garden planted in the 1920s. Of the 930 hectares which comprise the total estate, 120 hectares form the parkland and 4 hectares the gardens.

History

Around 1850, 120 hectares of parkland were defined and planted with a mixture of tree species, mostly in clumps. Rhododendron and Corsican pine banks were planted to the west of the house. The drive was laid out and the walled kitchen gardens were created. The house was partly demolished in 1937 and a new house was built in 1958. However, much of the Victorian garden structure remains.

Detailed Description

The rose garden was made in the 1920s. It has been restored but remains practically identical to the original. The loggia built in 1930 also remains. In 1978 Waterers were commissioned to re-design and plant the walled garden area.

The walled courtyard directly to the south of the new house (where previously part of the Victorian mansion stood) was built and linked to the rose garden beyond (to the south) by a series of original steps. This forms a really good, fairly plain, foil to the house.

Beyond the rose garden, the first Victorian flower garden has been converted into an attractive walled garden. This consists of herbaceous borders surrounding a large lawn, with a formal pool. Along the north wall is a pergola and a ‘herb' terrace. The walls are a mixture of ages but mostly Victorian. These are four metres high, therefore the garden is well-sheltered. The original Victorian walled vegetable garden remains intact and in use.

The smaller walled garden beyond now houses a swimming pool and summer house. The house has a fine outlook to the north over its parkland. In clear weather, one can see beyond the Thames to Essex. A fine lime avenue was planted around 1970 to the south-east and was 10 metres high in the early-1990s. It has not suffered from storm damage, but there has been considerable loss in the park, with 120 major trees lost plus general woodland devastation.

This very large estate has been somewhat reduced in extent from former times, but the actual area of garden and formal grounds has remained unchanged since the time of their creation in the 1850s.

Features
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: In 1958, when the house was derelict, the next generation of the family demolished the ruin and recreated a copy of the original Georgian structure.
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  • Drive
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  • Tree Feature
  • Description: Rhododendron and Corsican pine banks were planted to the west of the house.
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  • Kitchen Garden
  • Description: The walled kitchen gardens were created in 1850. The original Victorian walled vegetable garden remains intact and in use.
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  • Stable Block
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  • Garden Building
  • Description: Engine house.
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  • Garden Building
  • Description: Coach house.
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  • Structure
  • Description: An ingenious rainwater tank system was devised and installed under the lawn to the north of the house.
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  • Rose Garden
  • Description: The rose garden has been restored but remains practically identical to the original.
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  • Loggia
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  • Pergola
  • Description: Along the north wall is a pergola.
  • Garden Terrace
  • Description: Herb terrace.
  • Tree Avenue
  • Description: A fine lime avenue was planted around 1970 to the south-east and was 10 metres high in the early-1990s.
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Lawn, Herbaceous Border, Pool, Summerhouse
Access & Directions

Directions

The site lies 11 miles north-east of Maidstone. It is 1? miles south of Milstead and 1? miles east of Frinsted village.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • Lenham
History

Detailed History

The original largely Georgian house was demolished in 1850 and replaced by a Victorian building. Also at about this time, the 120 hectares of parkland were defined and planted with a mixture of tree species, mostly in clumps. Rhododendron and Corsican pine banks were planted to the west of the house. The drive was laid out and the walled kitchen gardens were created. An engine house, yard, stables and coach house were built. Also, an ingenious rainwater tank system was devised and installed under the lawn to the north of the house.

However, in 1937 the house was vacated and partly demolished, and after World War 2, during which the house was used by the army, the site was abandoned. In 1958, when the house was derelict, the next generation of the family demolished the ruin and recreated a copy of the original Georgian structure. However, the other Victorian features, including the built structures remain, forming an interesting layout.

Period

  • Victorian (1837-1901)
Contact

Official Website

Click Here

Owners

    References

    References