At the beginning of October the Conservation Team took spent the day working with the house our colleagues at Scotney Castle, in Lamberhurst.
Scotney Castle is formed of a large estate with two key buildings set within a picturesque garden. The castle itself dates back to the 1370’s and was built by a local landowner. It was altered and added to by various subsequent owners until the estate was purchased by Edward Hussey in 1778. His grandson, also named Edward, wanted a more modern Victorian house so began work on a second home on a terrace above the old castle. It was built in an Elizabethan style with sandstone quarried from the garden.
We were welcomed to Scotney by fellow Conservation Assistant Yvette, who showed us around the house and introduced us to Mrs. Hussey’s cat who still lives in the house today, cared for by staff and volunteers!
We were then joined by Conservation and Learning Assistant, Tanya, who helped us to gather all the equipment we would need for cleaning the castle. Although ruined in part to become a romantic focal point in the garden, parts of the castle are still accessible and are occasionally open to visitors.
We began at the top of the tower and worked our way down, sweeping up dirt and leaves that had found their way in from the garden and removing cobwebs. There are no electricity points in the castle, no vacuüm cleaners this time, brooms and dustpan and brushes only!
As the castle is quite a distance from the main house and to help carry the equipment, Tanya treated us to a ride down to the castle in the estate buggy!
In the afternoon, we were shown around the attics in the ‘new’ house, now used as store rooms. Yvette explained how volunteers are working to sort through the items and compile an inventory. They have been discovering many items that link in with the history of the Hussey family
This visit was an excellent opportunity for the team to see another property at work and to learn about the different challenges faced by the conservation team of a property which is poles apart from Knole.
We would like to thank the team at Scotney, especially Yvette and Tanya for welcoming us and taking the time to show us their work.
Lucy, Melinda and Sarah