Let’s face it, walking has become a really important part of our lives of late. A daily walk helps clear our minds, get our bodies moving, top up our Vitamin D and boost our endorphins for a little of that welcome well-being feeling. Next time you are planning a stroll, be sure to incorporate a walk round the grounds of one of these Kentish beauties to admire some beautiful sash windows at their best.
Where better place to start than Chartwell Manor, well known for being the home of one of Britain’s’ most iconic leading statesmen. Originally built in the 14th Century, Chartwell Manor became the home of Winston Churchill in 1922, where he lived for over forty years (until 1965). However, in 1946 it was acquired by the National Trust with funds raised by a group of Churchill’s friends on the condition that the Churchills retained a life-tenancy. After Churchill’s death, his wife surrendered her rights to the house and Chartwell Manor opened its doors to the public in 1966. Over the years, the National Trust restored the house to how it would have looked originally with several casement windows. It is now Grade I listed.
Tonbridge castle was built to guard the crossing of the River Medway after William the Conqueror came to England in 1066. In 1088, the castle owners rebelled against King William II. His army besieged the castle and after two days the castle fell. As punishment the King had both the castle and the town of Tonbridge burnt to the ground. The owners did eventually replace the original wooden castle with a stone shell keep which was reinforced during the thirteenth century. The twin-towered gatehouse was completed in 1260 after a 30-year build.
The end of the Civil War seemed to signal the demise of the castle. Orders were given for it to be dismantled, and the succeeding years saw most of it disappear through use as a local quarry. However, the twin-towered gatehouse remained. When the estate was purchased in 1790, the owner built a Georgian mansion, with bespoke sash windows, against the east wall of the gatehouse.
Over the years, Tonbridge Castle has seen several owners and tenants, but it was finally purchased by the local council in 1900. The gatehouse celebrated a grand £373,000 makeover in 1999 to mark the Millennium. The gatehouse and mansion are now Grade I listed.
If you fancy a town walk, Westerham is a charming little town oozing with character. Not only does it have a large conservation area, it also boasts over 100 listed buildings, an impressive number for such a modest sized town. Look out for timber sash windows on many of its 18th and 19th Century buildings as you stroll through this jewel of Sevenoaks.
Not far from the centre of Westerham, stands Grade I listed, Quebec House. It has several timber sash windows on the ground floor and first floor, with casement windows on the top floor. The house was the birthplace of General James Wolfe, an 18th Century Major-General, who lived at the property from 1727 to 1738. Today, it is another National Trust hotspot.
Remember, if you get inspired enough to start a renovation project of your own, we would love to help. We really are more than just a sash window company. We have our own in-house team of skilled builders and are able to offer a complete design and build service for large projects. We can manage all aspects of your renovation project, including architectural design, planning and all construction works.