The new house at Scotney Castle. © NTPL/David Sellman
The Victorian house at the Scotney Castle estate in Kent will be opening its doors to the public for the first time on June 6 2007.
The Jacobean-style Victorian country house was commissioned in 1835 by Edward Hussey III who. It was built on a terrace overlooking the old Scotney Castle, which dates from the 14th century.
It was later the home of the architectural historian and writer Christopher Hussey and his wife Betty. He bequeathed the gardens and woodland estate to the National Trust on his death in 1970, while his widow continued to live in the house until her death in 2006.
The study © NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel
Four of the house’s ground floor rooms will be the first to go on display, including the library, with its collection of rare books, the ornate dining room, and the study where Hussey wrote many of his books and articles.
The house remains largely unaltered since it was built and the rooms on display include many items of furniture, ornaments and artefacts that belonged to Christopher and Betty Hussey.
“Nothing gave Betty Hussey more pleasure than talking to the visitors and seeing them enjoy the garden,” said Caroline Binder, Property Manager at Scotney Castle.
The library, which also served as the principal living room. © NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel
“We have now meticulously preserved the main ground floor rooms of the house to present them in exactly the way that she would have wanted. We look forward to sharing with visitors this key chapter in Scotney’s extraordinary story.”
The National Trust plans to open more rooms on both the ground and upper floors over the next few years once conservation measures are complete. Visitors will also be able to watch some of the restoration in action.