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Smallhythe Place


By eirlys


We visited lots of National Trust properties while we were in Kent in September but one of my favourites turned out to be Smallhythe Place. We hadn’t planned on visiting but so glad that we did.

Smallhythe Place was Dame Ellen Terry’s early 16th-century house and cottage gardens, and where she lived for nearly thirty years. The house looks small but has quite a few rooms inside with some fascinating theatre memorabilia, including the Barn Theatre in the grounds.

The gardens are not that large but attractively laid out although better in early Summer perhaps, but I loved it.

The dress in the photograph was worn by Ellen Terry when she played Lady Macbeth. It is really beautiful but the most surprising feature I thought was the fact that the glittering " beads" are actually discarded beetle wings.

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That's amazing... Natures sequins!

24 Oct, 2016


Its funny that when you have things on your door step, you never get around to going to see them. This is one of those for me and now I've moved will probably never now so, so nice to read your blog. As Sandra said, amazing about the Beetle wings.

24 Oct, 2016


Sandra: Beautiful but not sure whether I would like them on a garment. Not keen on beetles, except ladybirds!

Jen: Know exactly what you mean!
I really was taken with Smallhythe. The house "felt" lived-in and homely even though the floors slanted alarmingly. We had visited Sissinghurst and Bateman's and a few other NT properties . Bateman's looked impressive from the outside but I found the inside disappointing and not at all "welcoming". Didn't take to the garden though my Other half found one or two plants interesting.

24 Oct, 2016


How interesting.

24 Oct, 2016


The house was full of memorabilia,: costumes, paintings, letters, "jewellery". The garden was simply set out but there was always something to look at as one walked around, even a small theatre, The Barn.

24 Oct, 2016


Very ingenious!I've often thought it was a waste of a pretty beetle when they turn their toes up. I wonder how they fastened them on - glue perhaps?

24 Oct, 2016


Its one of my favourite pastimes and we do visit lots of places, never been to Kent so still have this one on our todo list, not sure as I could wear a dress decorated with beetles, even dead ones, in fact I'm cringing at the thoughts of it, lol. Pleased you enjoyed your visit, thankyou for sharing Eirlys...

24 Oct, 2016


Steragram: I know what you mean! Beetles are beetles!!

Lincslass: Oh dear! This is now when I confess I did not like Kent. I was there once as a teenager and liked the areas I stayed. Now as an Oldie I found the roads winding and the sudden transition of sunny lanes to really dark ones quite frightening. Even Other Half commented on the "danger" so it wasn't just me.

Next to Dorset, and Wales, of course, I love Herefordshire, and Shropshire, and Northumberland.

25 Oct, 2016

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