This week for my bit for #MyGlorious Gardens we are visiting Smallhythe Place near Tenderden, Kent.
Smallhythe Place, the home of Ellen Terry, is located on a rural road, near Tenterden in Kent. Coming from a narrow, graveled, country lane from the Bullein Barn B&B, Smallhythe Place was at the end of it. Everyday we were amazed at all the cars parked here and the visitors going to the cottage. It was so convenient we thought we would save it to the end of our stay. This is not a big estate like some of the other National Trust properties we toured. This was a smallish house sitting on a smallish property. When we did visit, what a delight it was! As with all the National Trust properties, the hosts of this property made you feel so very welcome and were so knowledgable! I did not know a thing about Ellen Terry! First, let’s look at her cottage which is surrounded by flowers! The cottage, which you can also tour, is now a memorial to her.
The road from our B&B ended right in front of Smallhythe Place! Pretty convenient, I’d say!
Here is the cottage!
The cottage sits near the road and every day as we passed by, on the way somewhere else, I wondered if it would still be standing when we returned. It really leans!!!!!
This is what I learned………………….
One day, in 1899, Ellen Terry, the actress, was out for a buggy ride in the country (this is well away from London) with Henry Irving, (the manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London’s Covent Garden), who was also her theatrical partner for twenty-four years. Upon seeing a cottage at the side of the small lane near Tenterden, she made up her mind this was where she wanted to live and die. So she bought the place. She lived there until her death in 1928. The half timbered house was built in the late 15th or early 16th century. The house was originally a “Priest House” and then called the “Port House,” because of it’s location on the River Rother, which is now just a trickle along the side of the house. At one time this place was a thriving shipyard, the Old English word “hythe” means “landing place.” It is far off the beaten track, even now. She definitely wanted her peace and quiet, away from the crowds! When Terry died in 1929, her daughter, Edith Craig, opened the home as a memorial to her mother and then the National Trust took over the property when Craig died in 1947. Smallhythe Place is filled with mementoes of Terry’s career in the theatre. In 1929, Craig set up a barn on the grounds, as a theater, where William Shakespeare plays were performed every year on the anniversary of her mother’s death. This is continued even today. Now let’s stroll through the small garden…………
I loved the acknowledgement of the unwelcome plant! Silverweed!!!!! And the names of flowers so Americans will know what they are, ha ha!
Isn’t this just the cutest cottage? Just what I think an English cottage should look like! Of course, with the cottage garden, my absolute favorite garden!
Here is one of my favorite window photos! Oh, how I love this place! The hedgerows, the fenced garden and the other houses along the old road make it perfect!
There are some very old potting sheds at the back of the garden. They have been converted to a small area for teas and eats!
Look at the old doors to be found here!
In front of one of the thatched potting sheds is a row of plants from this garden to buy! Oh, if I lived in the UK I would have a plant from every garden I visited!
Another shed door!
And out here, far from London, she built a Playhouse! Shakespeare is still performed here during the summer to keep the legacy of Ellen Terry alive!
I hope you enjoyed Smallhythe Place! But, who is Ellen Terry you ask? I’ll feature the inside of her cottage and her works later this week! What a delight is in store for you!
I am holding up the fort so to speak, while OLDHOUSEINTHESHIRES is finishing up the school year! But, be sure to link up when she returns in July! I am enjoying everyone’s garden visits!