Things to see & do

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Our shipbuilding past

Located under the cow byre in the garden near the big pond you'll find our exhibition which delves into the history of Smallhythe Place during it's shipbuilding days.

This fascinating work dates as far back as the 13th Century, at which time Smallhythe was seen as one of the most significant shipyards in Medieval England. It's hard to imagine now how close the water once was but ask our guides more about where the shipbuilding would have taken place when you visit us. 

What's new for 2015?

Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth in 1888 wearing the beetle wing dress

Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth in 1888 wearing the beetle wing dress

We have lots of new and exciting things planned for 2015, with one of the major ones being our costume displays. These costume displays will be out for all to see every Saturday and Sunday throughout the open season, with a new dress to see each month. The dresses will be chosen by our expert house team who have a huge collection to pick from, these new displays will be a great chance to see some of the many hidden treasures that we have.

If costumes are your thing, then you might also be interested to hear that we'll be running costume tours for 2015. With our large costume store tucked away this is a great chance to see some of the dresses that belonged to Ellen Terry, and to see many others that have been worn on the stage here at Smallhythe and around the country. Costume tours will run fortnightly on Saturdays from 4 April - 17 October.                           

Ellen Terry's War

Take a look at our new video exhibition focusing on the life of Ellen Terry during the time of  the great war,  with unseen material brought to life by the voices of Dame Eileen Atkins and Charles Collingwood. The film is an hour and fifteen minutes long, for any more information please call 01580 762334.

Group visits

If you're coming on a group visit,  there's a lot to see in the charming 16th-century house and theatre, plus you can wander in the beautiful garden. You can even book a talk in our Barn Theatre about our colourful characters and the history behind the doors. 

Don't miss

  • Upcoming events in the barn and in the garden
  • Shipbuilding exhibition, learn about Smallhythe's early history
  • All book lovers should check out our large collection of second-hand books
  • Great walks through the garden, up to the church and the public footpath next to the stream
  • Our new range of gifts in the café