Thames Tributary Darent - Lullingstone
The Darent continues curving northwards
Post to the west Lullingstone
Means could mean Lulling’s farm or settlement, or could refer to a boundary stone.
Lullingstone Castle, redbrick, part Tudor/part Queen Anne mansion. Although 'Castle' seems to be a misnomer - built in the late 15th it was fortified but later the house was called ‘castle’ as a status symbol. The Tudor gatehouse was the outer of two structures separated by a moat, with a high castellated wall surrounding the house and gardens. The lords of the manor were the Peche family; John Peche was a clothier and city alderman who bought the estate in 1391 and laid out the deer park. In the 16th the estate passed to a daughter who married a John Hart. In the 18th Queen Anne came here often and her bed is here. Percyvall Hart, who was devoted to her, made considerable structural alterations to please her, and named a daughter after her. Anne Hart was eloped on the night of her betrothal to a Sussex gentleman, Sir Thomas Dyke. Nine years later the young man died and Anne returned to Lullingstone and married Sir Thomas establishing the Hart Dyke family whose descendants still live here. Sir William Hart Dyke was one of Disraeli’s ministers and framed the rules of lawn tennis and what is claimed to be the first game was played on the lawns here. David Hart Dyke was Captain of H.M.S. Coventry, sunk by Argentine aircraft during the Falkland Islands conflict. Much of what remains here is Tudor although it does not appear so but it was a house rather than a castle.
Silkworms - Zoë Lady Hart Dyke created a silkworm farm here in 1936. Queen Mary was one of its earliest visitors. Clearly her royal nostrils were not deterred by the smell of the cocoons softening in warm water. Lullingstone silk was used in the coronation robe of King George VI and in the Queen's wedding veil. The farm moved to the West Country but Lullingstone silk was used in Princess Anne's wedding attire and Princess Diana's wedding dress.
World Garden of Plants. A This walled garden - previously a Herb garden designed by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde - has recently been converted into the world garden by the 20th generation of the Hart Dyke's, plant hunter Tom Hart Dyke. That conversion was the subject of the BBC2 series Save Lullingstone Castle. Tom Harte Dyke and the World Garden were again featured in Spring 2007 on the BBC2 series 'Return to Lullingstone Castle'. An Interactive world map of plants is laid out as a map of the world within a walled garden. The oceans are yew pathways and the world covers 1 acre. Here is Everest, Ayers Rock and the Andes.
Eynsford Station. 2nd June 1862. Between Shoreham and Swanley on South Eastern Trains. From the through the woods south is 'a gentle north dipping re entrant'
Upper Austin Lodge Road