Toys Hill

Discover the place that inspired Octavia Hill to found the National Trust

Enjoy The Fresh Air

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The Octavia Hill well at Toys Hill, a National Trust place in Kent

Well, well, well

Octavia Hill (one of the founding members of the National Trust) sank a well for the residents of Toys Hill to use and gifted it to the National Trust in 1898. The well was restored in 1999 and has some of the best views across the Weald of Kent to the Ashdown Forest in the far distance.

The bat tower at Toys Hill, a National Trust countryside site in Kent

A batty place for a tower

The bat tower was once used as the water tower for the Weardale estate. After suffering damage in the 1987 storm, we decided to convert the tower into a bat hibernaculum. The tower is well used by bats and they seem to like hanging out in their new home.

A pond that supplied water to the Emmetts estate near Toys Hill and Emmetts Garden, National Trust places in Kent

Pump it up at Pugden

Next to a beautifully calm pond you'll see the remains of the Victorian ram pump system which was used to supply water for the Emmetts estate. The basic idea behind a ram pump is simple: it uses the momentum of a relatively large amount of moving water to pump a relatively small amount of water uphill.

Toys Hill

Wildlife

Adder in the grass at Toys Hill, a National Trust countryside site in Kent

Abundant in wildlife

Lying on top of the Greensand Ridge, the hill supports a wide variety of plants and animals. Enjoy the fine views over the Weald of Kent and discover the diverse and abundant wildlife which makes this area a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

Toys Hill

Our work

Ranger Fraser Williamson

Countryside ranger: Fraser Williamson 

Have you ever wondered what a ranger actually does? Quad bikes, play trails and butterfly watching – it’s not only about bush cutting. Step in the shoes of our ranger and find out what it’s really like.

Video

In profile: ranger Fraser Williamson

Chartwell and Toys Hill ranger Fraser Williamson can be seen in the recent National Trust advert handling a stag beetle. We went behind the scenes to have a chat with him about his job and how he ended up working for the National Trust.

Toys Hill

Get involved

Toys Hill

History

Octavia Hill (after John Singer Sargent) by Reginald Grenville Eves, RA

Who was Octavia Hill? 

A social reformer, public figure, artist and activist, Octavia Hill was also a key figure in the foundation of the National Trust.