Penshurst Place, Kent. The romance passed through centuries

penshurst place kent

A few miles to the south of Sevenoaks, framed by the rural beauties of Kent, is settled Penshurst Place. For more than 450 years the descendants of Sir Philip Sidney, an illustrious poet of the Elizabethan Age, which has been living through the centuries due to the talent and the stories of his chivalry, have owned it.
 Every place has its own character. There are houses, which oppress by an inexplicable sombre atmosphere, and you want to leave it as soon as it possible. But there are also those that have the aura of friendliness, where you feel at ease and certainly want to stay for a bit longer.
Penshurst Place is not only one of those houses-optimists; an endearing romantic aroma shrouds it as well. Henry VIII used to stop here on his way to Hever castle, the family house of spunky huntress for the crown Anne Boleyn and the king’s obsession for that moment. By quirk of fate Penshurst Place became the set for the film about Henry VIII and his ambitious second wife “The other Boleyn girl”. In the Baron’s Hall, built as long ago as in 1341, was shot an episode where the court lady Anne (Natalie Portman) flirts with her future crowned spouse (Eric Bana).

Hereafter Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s infamous daughter Elizabeth I used to visit Penshurst Place as well. She probably was so partial to this stately home because Robert Dudley, the queen’s childhood friend and beloved man, was the brother of the owner’s wife. It’s not hard to imagine the couple riding together in the environs of Penshurst Place. There is still the picture in the house reminding of Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley’s relations, it depicts them dancing a quite revealing dance of those days “La Volta”. Penshurst Place has been keeping the reputation of romantic place by holding here the wedding ceremonies for those who want to tie the knot in regal way.
In the space of its rich history this stately home also became muse for the artists. So inspired by the place Benjamin Jonson, poet and dramatist of English Renaissance, wrote:
penshurst place kent...Fresh as the air, and new as are the hours.
The early cherry, with the later plum,
Fig, grape, and quince, each in his time doth come:
The blushing apricot, and woolly peach
Hang on thy walls, that every child may rich…
That wall which “every child may rich” has remained since the 16th century, and the Penshurst Place garden is one the oldest Elizabethan gardens in England. Geometrically planted flowers, the spherical and rectangular hedge forming the partitions and mazes, the abundance of roses (round about 3000 species!) – during the centuries all these attributes have been kept here almost invariable. And even the caprices of inconstant fashion couldn’t transform it.

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