West Farleigh Hall (also known as Smiths Hall)3470

Maidstone, England, Kent, Maidstone

Brief Description

The site has formal gardens associated with the country house which dates form around 1719. The old gardens feature areas enclosed by walls and yew hedging, whilst newer gardens were added in the 1950s and 1960s.

History

The house was finished in 1719, when it was known as Smiths Hall. The basic layout of the gardens is remarkably unchanged today.

Detailed Description

There are a series of garden areas enclosed by walls and ancient yew hedges. This includes the largely original pattern of stone-flagged paths and steps. The first walled garden, to the north of the house, has a large raised lawn flanked by shrub borders (replacing the original pleached hedges). To the east of this is a rose garden reached by a grass slope, bordered by yew hedges. This area is very formal.

On the next level there is a large rectangular lawn, overlooked to the north by a new garden house. The house was built in the 1960s by Albert Richardson, to the same design and on the original site of one built in the 18th century. The lawn was originally a bowling green. Steps lead up to the east to the rose walk, where there is a wonderful collection of old shrub roses.

To the south of this and running across the width of the garden, is a new garden area created largely in the 1950s. This area has a mixture of vegetables and walkways of irises and modern shrub roses. The herbaceous borders here are all of carefully planted colour schemes. Below these borders is a green border surrounding the greenhouses, which extend downwards to the coach house and stables. There is also a large cobbled courtyard entered from the road next to the main entrance to the house. On the other side of the road opposite the house is a curved boundary and two cedars, (remnants of an old avenue) and clearly marked in Badeslade's engravings.

Features
  • House (featured building)
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  • Stable Block
  • Description: There are stables dating from 1790 to the south-west of the house.
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  • Rose Garden
  • Description: There is a rose garden reached by a grass slope, bordered by yew hedges. This area is very formal.
  • Lawn
  • Description: There is a large rectangular lawn, overlooked to the north by a new garden house.
  • Garden Building
  • Description: There is a new garden house, which was built in the 1960s by Albert Richardson, to the same design and on the original site of one built in the 18th century.
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  • Walk
  • Description: Steps lead up to the east to the rose walk, where there is a wonderful collection of old shrub roses.
  • Tree Avenue
  • Description: On the other side of the road opposite the house is a curved boundary and two cedars, (remnants of an old avenue) and clearly marked in Badeslade?s engravings.
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Hedge, Wall
Access & Directions

Directions

The site is on the outskirts of village of West Farleigh. It is four miles south-west of Maidstone, on the corner between the B2163 and the B2010.
Authorities

Civil Parish

  • West Farleigh
History

Detailed History

The house was finished in 1719, when it was known as Smiths Hall. Badeslade's History of Kent shows an engraving of the formal gardens in 1720. The basic layout is remarkably unchanged today. The garden extends largely to the south of the house. There are stables dating from 1790 to the south-west of the house.
Associated People

Just one person associated to West Farleigh Hall

References

References