Westerham, just off A25
This family home, situated at Westerham, has been lived in by the Wardes for over 280 years. Experience the warm welcome of this beautiful, 17th century manor house, still lived in by John Warde who purchased Squerryes from the Earl of Jersey in 1731.
Enjoy the fine collection of old master paintings from the Italian, 17th century Dutch and 18th century English schools, furniture, porcelain and tapestries all acquired or commissioned by the family in the 18th century. Wander round the attractive gardens, interesting all through the seasons. The thousands of daffodils are followed by carpets of bluebells. The herbaceous borders and old roses flower throughout the summer.
A pretty, finely wooded, well-watered seat, the stables good, the houses old but convenient. These were the words written by John Evelyn, the diarist, when he visited the medieval Squerryes in 1658. The house existing in 1216 was lived in by the De Squerie family until the middle of the 15th century. This family had a squirrel for their crest and it is thought that they took their name from the place.
In 1681 the old building was pulled down by Sir Nicholas Crisp and the present fine, red brick house built on the same site. In 1700 the first Earl of Jersey purchased the house and in 1731 the 3rd Earl sold it to his friend John Warde whose descendants still live there today.
The garden was laid out in the formal style in 1709 (the plan of this garden still exists). Later, in the 18th century, the old garden was changed. The romantic natural style had come into fashion and this is in evidence at Squerryes.
The straight lines of the original garden can still be seen in the parson terracing. The landscaping of the lake and the parkland show the influence of the mid-18th century. Following the great storm of 1987, the Warde family decided to restore part of the formal garden using the original plans and the 1719 print as an outline on which to base the ongoing developments. The borders and rockery have been replanted in recent years. The most recent projects are the woodland and lakeside walks which are being restored.
Open from 1st April to 30th September. Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays. Garden open at 12 noon to 5:30 p.m. House open 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Last entry at 5:00 p.m.
House and grounds: Adults £3.90, OAPs £3.50, Children under 14 £2.20
Grounds only: Adults £2.40, OAPs £2.10, Children under 14 £1.40
Free parking, dogs on leads in garden, picnics by lake, tea room, home-made teas served in old Library and on tea lawn between 2 and 5 p.m. See travel section for location.