Kent was lovely… great sweeps of view and sky from the Wealdy hills… and very quiet (we only saw three live people on our 6 hour walk (link here); that figure trebled when we got into the pub)… would love to go back again to the same place in ‘proper’ spring or early summer to enjoy the fact it was ‘our’ farmland to flop about it.

No flopping in the biting wind this time though, just zipping, snuffling and marching! And reading… there was no TV or wifi (although Stuart did cheat by bringing his laptop and a DVD of Our Friends in the North. Cheat.)

Here’s the link to the Landmark Trust place for ref: ObrissĀ 

It was actually the next property along to Chartwell. The two places were owned by the same landowner originally and when Obriss came up for resale in the late 20’s Churchill considered buying it (so must have stalked round the place). The Chartwell shop stocks ‘our’ Obriss honey, which is nice.

Still clutching our NT cards, we also did Knole, the Sackville West’s pile. That was SO cold that the NT volunteers were all wearing bobble hats and looking miserably at the long-disused huge hearths. We stuffed down a cream tea and went back to our own huge kitchen fire for the rest of the day.

On the way Stuart seemed compelled to drive up a hill (Ide Hill) and visit a churchyard. Walking round we spotted one, then two, then five headstones with ‘Bridgland’ on them – spooky, no? Here’s the link to the family and their ancestors. They hail from East Grinstead – about 28 miles from your ancestral home of Frittenden. What do you think.. rellies?

Anyway, the pic on the right of the farm is from the summer (!) so here are a few of my own… The barn you see right behind the house in one of the pics was a separate kitchen building, apparently very common in the 1550’s for mid-large properties. It was probably bigger than it is now, combining brewing, bakehouse, smokery and a couple of beds for workers.

There are hardly any left now, so this – along with the early 17th c threshing barn (rafters pic) and the fact it’s still farmed exactly as it was then with no pesticides and local sheep/crop – is quite a noteworthy site, hence being Landmark Trust. Top English fayre!

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