The house at Scotney Castle
Built in the mid-19th century, the Victorian mansion at Scotney Castle was a later addition to the estate. A well-loved family home to three generations of the Hussey family, it is filled with objects collected through the decades.
A country home
The house was built in 1837 by Edward Hussey III from sandstone quarried from the grounds of the Old Castle. It is positioned to overlook both the castle and estate, with the garden also designed and created at the same time. This meant that all the three elements, house, garden and estate, would work as one in creating a perfect country home.
The wood panelling and some of the significant furniture items were also designed especially for the house by its architect, Anthony Salvin, which gives a flow of continuity to the home.
Edward Hussey III spent many happy years here with his wife and children, but only two more generations of the family lived here since then. It is perhaps for this reason that the house has been little altered, and you are seeing it today much as it was in the 19th century.
Its last residents were Christopher Hussey, one of the most influential and significant writers on architecture and landscape of the twentieth century, and his wife, Elizabeth (Betty), née Kerr-Smiley.
It has always been a welcoming and sociable place, filled with books and paintings, many of which were created by the Husseys themselves. The family were great collectors and you will see many influences from the different generations as you walk around. The family motto 'Vix ea nostra voco' means 'I scarcely call these things our own'.
About the house
- Although Victorian, the house is built in the Elizabethan Revival style. Internally, you will see Betty and Christopher Hussey's 1950s' modernisations.
- The tower, with its crenellated battlement, provides a visual link to the original castle at the bottom of the hill.
- There is a secret door in the library which is decorated with false book spines with made-up humorous titles.
- For symmetry, the dining room has four doors, but two are in fact just shallow cupboards, one of which contains a record of the Hussey children's heights as they grew up.
- In 1979, the house was used as a location set for the film ‘Yanks’ starring Richard Gere. Betty used the location fee to re-fit the kitchen. The house also appears in the recent Netflix hit 'The Sandman'.
- Margaret Thatcher had an apartment here during her time in office as Prime Minister.
Pieces from the Hussey collection
Take a look at some of the fascinating objects in the house.
The carved chimneypiece in the library includes the quote ‘Since word is thrall / and thought is free / Keep well thy tongue / I counsel thee’.
Explore the picturesque garden and wider estate at Scotney Castle, from walled garden to woodland and year-round colour.
Discover the long and rich history of Scotney Castle and its journey with the Hussey family from moated castle to the perfect country estate.
As the days get a bit chillier there's nothing better than coming in from a walk on the estate to a bowl of delicious, warming homemade soup in the tea-room.
The days may be shorter and colder, but you can embrace the beauty of the season with clothing and home accessories in beautiful earthy ochres, soothing sea greens and smoky blues, as well as bright and cheery Christmas decorations, and delicious chocolates, chutneys and locally-produced tipples. Pop into the second-hand bookshop and discover some perfect bargain reads for winter evenings - you can even pick up pre-wrapped 'Secret Santa' mystery titles for £2.
Discover what happens behind the scenes to care for the house and garden at Scotney Castle in Kent.
Join the volunteer team at Scotney Castle and help to make a real difference to this special place whilst learning new skills and making friends.