History

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How the estate has changed over time

Sissinghurst Castle's past is a complicated one; spanning many centuries, monarchs and uses.

Here's a brief glimpse into the past of one of the most intriguing places in the Weald of Kent.

How Sissinghurst became a castle

This picture is believed to have been painted by one of the prisoners

This picture is believed to have been painted by one of the prisoners

Sissinghurst Castle was used as a prison for up to 3,000 French sailors who were captured by the British during the Seven Years War. Held for months at a time in vile, stinking conditions, the prisoners lived in 'cells' with little access to fresh air, clean water or adequate food supplies.

This picture above is a remarkable insight into what the site would have looked like in the 17th century. The original painting is on display in the library.

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