Visit to Westenhanger
The Kent Archeological Society Buildings Committee organised an excursion to Westenhanger Castle and the two medieval timber framed barns on the adjoining site. The present owner, Graham Forge, spent four hours showing us around and explaining the problems that he has encountered during the restoration work that he and his son have undertaken over the past 11 years.
Parts of the present castle date back to the 14th century. We started in the entrance marquee, where there is a visitor centre showing the phases of restoration. From there we walked round the outer walls until we reached the two barns, built in 1588. They are built of Kentish ragstone with walls over three feet thick. A welcome tea followed before we went with an archaeologist to examine the internal walls in the sunken garden. We then went into the early 17th century house that had been tacked onto the original castle. The house is now used as a wedding venue and has a bridal suite.
First impressions: the Rosamund Tower and gazebo
The early 18th century frontage added to the old castle and now used for weddings
A photo showing how the 18th century frontage has been incorporated into the old castle fabric
The Dovecote. The brick scars are from the 16th century garderobe addition
The back of the castle with the Rosamund Tower
The curtain wall at the back of the dovecote end
The back of the Prisoner Tower
The side of the Prisoner Tower
The Rosamund and Prisoner Towers
One of the two large stone barns
The two barns adjoin; the larger is being renovated.
The end of the smaller barn ...
The smaller barn with the larger behind, which is under renovation
The view for those able to climb the ladder to the roof space. Thank you Grace for taking this photo.
The west medieval entrance
A statue, Around it the stump of an enormous ivy. Tons of ivy were removed during renovation work.
Through the curtain wall towards the surrounding countryside
Inside the Rosamund Tower
Side of the 18th century house with, left, the medieval kitchen under renovation
Looking up inside the dovecote showing some of the 420 nesting holes
A photo showing the thickness of the dovecote walls
The gazebo, Prisoner Tower and barn beyond
Triskilian – König von Tara