West Kent – Chevening and the North Downs
A moderate 5 mile walk around the parkland of Chevening in the Kent Downs AONB. There will be a vigorous climb or two up onto the Downs where we will walk along a small part of the North Downs Way, a lunch stop near the village of Knockholt, and views out towards Sevenoaks and over the country estate of Chevening.
History of Chevening House:
Chevening has a history dating back around 800 years, but the house we see today is almost entirely the creation of seven generations of the Stanhope family, building on the original Lennard family’s house of around 1630.
For 250 years the Stanhopes served their country as soldiers and statesmen, and at Chevening as patrons of architecture and art. When, sadly, the line ran out, the 7th Earl’s munificent gift of Chevening to the nation ensured that the distinguished history of the family and the estate was preserved for future generations.
It is especially appropriate that the house has become the country residence of a Cabinet Minister and thus continues to play its part in the political life of the nation.
The Estate consists of some 3,000 acres stretching between Sevenoaks and Biggin Hill in Kent. The gardens include a lake, maze, parterre and a double hexagonal walled kitchen garden amounting in all to some 40 acres. Over 530 acres of mixed woodland surround the extensive park.
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