Godinton House & Gardens
Kent TN23 3BP
Godinton House and Garden is a hidden gem buried in the Kent countryside just 4 miles (6.5 km) from the Ashford International Rail Terminus and within easy reach of London.
For 455 years Godinton was the family seat of the Toke family (1440 – 1895). Externally the house is a striking Jacobean red brick mansion with numerous Dutch (compass) gables. These gables are replicated in the famous yew hedge topiary garden.
Medieval Great Hall, Tudor Staircase & Georgian Modelled Dining Room
It is when we get inside the house that we see the conglomeration of styles and realise that this is a family home where rooms were added in the latest style over a long period of time. The Great Hall is medieval; the magnificent carved chestnut staircase is Tudor and the magnificent Dining Room was remodelled in the 1760s in high Georgian fashion.
The house is furnished with a remarkable collection of family treasures acquired over hundreds of years - Reynolds, Chippendale, Worcester and Sevres are mixed with more contemporary items and occasional fakes, some of which date back nearly as far as the originals. Exquisite paintings of family members line the walls of the Great Hall.
The gently ticking long case clocks give the house a cosy, lived in feel. Even the stained glass windows have a personal touch. John Toke was a favourite courtier of King Henry VIII. He was such a speedy messenger that Henry allowed him to add a greyhound to his coat of arms!
Welcoming Gardens with views of Great Chart
The gardens are equally welcoming, designed to encourage visitors to wander across the carefully cut lawns, to explore the wildflower meadows and willow fringed ornamental lily pond. In spring the wild garden is a mass of daffodils, fritillaries, primroses and anemones. Close to the house is the highly scented rose garden, in flower all summer.
The mellow brick walled garden has Kent’s best collection of delphiniums and the terraces lead down to lovely wooded parkland and views of Great Chart church where generations of the Toke family are buried.
The well informed guides make visiting this historic house an absolute pleasure.
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Expedia here: External Link
Opening Times & Costs
House and Tearoom now open Bank Holiday Mondays 14:00 – 17:30 hours.
Check official website for details Web: Godinton House/ Times & Costs External Link
Partial access to garden
Steep steps restrict access to house.
Disabled Toilets available
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1233 620 773
Godinton House External Link
Godinton House is a few minutes drive from Junction 9 off the M20. From Junction 9, follow signs for Lenham, A20. About a ¼ mile after the second roundabout, there is a signpost for the house on the left-hand side (opposite the Hare & Hounds public house).
A taxi ride from Ashford International Railway Station takes 10 minutes at a reasonable cost.
Ample shady, grassed car park.
Google Maps - Godinton House and Gardens