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Ightham Mote

Ightham Mote is a magnificent moated manor house in the small village of Ightham, near Sevenoaks. Beginning in 1989, it has literally been taken apart brick by brick and beam by beam revealing the hidden history of the house for the first time.

In 1521, Sir Richard Clement bought the Mote for £400, and he was responsible for much of the ornamentation in the house. Having minor associations with Henry VIII, he customarily filled his new home with symbolic tributes to the King, including the stained glass windows in the Great Hall and the painted roof boards of the New Chapel ceiling, both depicting the union of Henry VIII with Catherine of Aragon. The New Chapel is the finest room in the house.

In many ways Ightham Mote is ideal, with all 72 rooms overlooking the courtyard, or lakes and garden. It is also remarkably damp-proof, considering there is only a stone wall separating the rooms from the moat. Perhaps more importantly, visitors to Ightham can fully appreciate the internal décor, and architectural styles of six centuries, all wonderfully preserved.

In 1953, Ightham Mote's future was secured by an American saviour, Charles Henry Robinson, who had been smitten by this 'dream house' since seeing a picture of it as a young man. Upon his death in 1985, he bequeathed the property to the National Trust. Within three years the National Trust had begun a huge project of conservation and repairs, a phased programme of work that was not completed until 2004.

Ightham Mote is a medieval moated manor house close to the village of Ightham, near Sevenoaks in Kent, England. Ightham Mote and its gardens are owned by the National Trust.

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